Recently, we have shared Chris Stapleton’s version of “I Want Love” included in the Elton John Restoration and Revamp project. Another stunning country artist contributing to the team up to celebrate Elton John’s career is Miranda Lambert. She has put a subtle twist on Elton John’s 1970 song “My Father’s Gun”.
“My Father’s Gun”, Song Anatomy
In the spring of 1970, Elton John and Bernie Taupin set out to write and record a concept album of themes related to Americana, using country and western music. “My Father’s Gun” is the fifth track in Elton’s Tumbleweed Connection album. The album invokes descriptions of the Dustbowl, the Wild West, and another 19th century rural America.
“From this day on I own my father’s gun
We dug his shallow grave beneath the sun
I laid his broken body down below the Southern land
It wouldn’t do to bury him where any Yankee stands.”
“My Father’s Gun” voices the story of a Confederate soldier who has just buried his father’s body. He then picks up his father’s gun and decides to rejoin the American Civil War. We can hear both the misery and hope tangled in the song – as a son who recently buried his father and as a soldier fighting for the losing side. The tone in the stanzas transmits an air of hesitation and fearfulness. However, when the chorus drops, the addition of the gospel choir lightens the mood, letting us know that while the character in the song is sad, he is also full of courage for what is to come.
Could he have won the battle? If the character buried his father in the spring or summer of 1863, he never would have made it down to New Orleans from the northern plains of Louisiana. If he also had made it to the battle and fought for the Confederacy, in all likelihood, he would have been killed, since the siege claimed the lives of over 7,000 Southern fighters.
Also, the character sings of a Confederate victory. Little could he have realized that his possible death during the battle brought him home to his father, hopefully in Heaven.
Miranda Lambert’s Take on “My Father’s Gun”
Lambert is just one of many female artists who appear on John and Bernie Taupin’s most beloved collaborations reimagined in new arrangements by country artists. With a subtle and newly approached voice, she sings,
“I’ll not rest until I know the cause is fought and won
From this day on until I die I’ll wear my father’s gun.”
Her country version is lighter than John’s original. In a Twitter post, she shared the video together with her grateful words,
“EltonOfficial and Bernie Taupin have created some of the most timeless music. It was an honor to be part of this project.”