If The Song ‘Rocket Man’ Came Out Today, The World’s Head Would Explode! Or Would It? Today’s Feelings On Yesterday’s Timeless Classics

But does it slap?

Ren Willis
8 min readDec 3, 2019


When tube socks were life

The other day I was checking in on twitter when I saw this tweet from one of my favorite songwriters and music makers A.C. Newman of New Pornographers.

As a fan of the song, as well as other Elton John songs for that matter, my gut reaction was “Well yeah! It’s a timeless classic! Carl with the hot take! MY man!” But the more I thought about it, the song, the feeling and mood of the song, a bit of a torch song, a bar song really, that falls into a semi-psychedelic-ish song about being in outer space, with it’s nice melody and harmonies but absolutely ridiculous lyrics (no seriously, listen for yourself)

Take the 2nd verse

Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact, it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don’t understand
It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man
A rocket man

I mean, wut?

I began to ask myself…. would it? Would it really “blow some minds”?

The modern landscape of music

Lyrics aside, it’s a lovely song with a high flying (literally) chorus. A fave. But that’s not the question. The question is:

Assuming a universe where Elton John’s music never existed, but nothing else had changed, if we heard “Rocket Man” for the first time today, would our minds be blown?

Looking at the modern landscape, the world of hip hop & trap dominance, where the 2min TikTok/Soundcloud fave “Old Town Road” becomes the longest #1 single of all…



Ren Willis

singer-songwriter, writer, maker (baltimore, hon) — https://renwillis.com