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I Have Been Deceived


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One of my all-time favorite albums is Elton John's "Elton John" (1970), his second national release, the brown one with a profile view of the young genius. He recorded the whole thing in three days with a live orchestra, which was a real trip for him back before he was the hall of fame celebrity he would become. Not able to settle on a single tune from that album to pay homage to, I've combined three: The King Must Die, which forms the main framework of this arrangement, plus Border Song and Take Me To The Pilot. My idea was to create a larger epic, trying to capture in lyrics the drama that was conjurted by the fabulous orchestrations and performances in the originals.

This version begins with the line "Holy Moses, I have been deceived" (Border Song), from which I take the title for my hydrid medley. It then presents the first verses of "The King Must Die." Instead of going into the chorus, I switch to the bridge from "Take Me To The Pilot," highlighting the sense of being on trial, of impedding doom, of finding a way to (either) escape or reach the actual throne room. The first chorus is the well known one from "Take Me To The Pilot." It uses the same chord progression as the chorus from "The King Must Die," so using one here and the other at the end has a sence of balance. After returning to the last versde from "The King Must Die," I use the "poisoned" line from "Border Song" as an ending coda, identifying my character as the King who is to die, even as "Long Live The King" is on his lips. A statement of our wish for continuity, an ironic metaphor of our human condition.

My version, especially in the way the lyrics are arranged, speaks to the correlation between success and failure, beginnings and endings, connection and alienation. There is also a Kafka-esque sense of being both the King and the Jester, the betrayed and the betrayer, the stranger who never really knows what is going on. This is the one song in the "Song of Myself" collection with which I express a higher level of cynicism, a confused sense of anger, a moment of helpless regret without redemption. I also tried to keep a sense of melodramatic humor to the way I perform the vocals, as if it was all a divine comedy.

If you are a fan of The Game Of Thrones, you may get a kick out of how I've fitted scenes from that show to the lyrics. Please visit my video on YouTube: I Have Been Deceived (Elton John meets the Game Of Thrones)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-zEbk--9JY
(I can't figure out how to display it here, sorry)

This is track 8 on my 2012 release, Song of Myself. The page has a few nice reviews, as well.

Other draft tracks from "Song of Myself" shared on MacJams include:
Dignity (by Bob Dylan)
Blackbird (by Paul McCartney)
Blue Tattoos (based on songs by Joni Mitchell)
Frozen Man (by James Taylor)
I Have Been Deceived (based on songs by Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
American Tune (by Paul Simon)
Oh Danny Boy (traditional)
No Place Like Home (a duet: piano/soprano sax)
Before There Were Gods (with Michael Hedges)
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Lyrics
Holy Moses, I have been deceived
No man's a jester playing Shakespeare
Round your throne room floor,
While the juggler's act is danced upon
The crown that you once wore

And sooner or later
Everybody's kingdom must end
I'm so afraid your courtiers
Cannot be called best friends...

Caesars had their troubles
Widows had to cry
While mercenaries in cloisters sing
And the king must die

If you feel that it's real I'm on trial
And I'm here,here in your prison
Like a coin in your mint
I am dented and spent with high treason
Through a glass eye your throne
Is the one danger zone
Take me to the pilot for control

Take me to the pilot
Lead me through the chamber
Take me to the pilot
I am but a stranger

I think I've been deceived

Some men are better staying sailors
Take my word and go
Buttell the stableman that his name was
The very first they chose

And if my hands are stained forever
And the altar should refuse me
Would you let me in, would you let me in, would you let me in
Or should I cry "sanctuary"?

Caesar had his troubles
Widows had to cry
While mercenaries in the cloisters sing
And the king must die

The king is dead, the king is dead
The king is dead, the king is dead
Lead me through the chamber
I am but a stranger
Lead me

Holy Moses, I have been removed,
I've been poisoned from my head down to my shoes

Long live the king

- lyrics by Bernie Taupin, revised and rearranged
Song Stats
Hits: 2001
Comments: 46
Fans: 28
Plays: 300
Downloads: 46

Uploaded: Jul 08, 2013 - 09:21:21 AM
Last Updated: Aug 08, 2013 - 10:47:09 AM Last Played: Mar 19, 2016 - 12:32:54 PM
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Comments
MartinD28 said 1323 days ago (July 8th, 2013)
Deceived
You are masterful at this form of music. So comfortable at the piano and with yourself. Musical theater at its best. Great recording!
Check out my latest song called Don't Lose Me Lord
TobinMueller said 1323 days ago (July 8th, 2013)
Musical theater...
Yes, definitely drawing on a lifetime in musical theatre with this one! Glad you enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
paul f. page said 1323 days ago (July 8th, 2013)
Just in...
Your notes, Tobin, pretty much speak to the clever genius and deep introspection that you bring to all your work: every aspect of this seems to be meticulously worked out and presented with your artistic flair and polish. Your piano work, especially, always grabs me because it is so embued with energy and boisterous style, part jazz, part rock 'n' roll, part honky tonk, and all Tobin. It is always a delight to hear how you think, this particular number being among your more complex creations. Thoroughly enjoyed.
Check out my latest song called Far From The Madding Crowd
TobinMueller said 1323 days ago (July 8th, 2013)
clever genius and deep introspection
I love those two descriptors!! Ha! I was trying for that on this arrangement!

This is definitely one of my more complex arrangements, and took me 3 weeks to work out right. Actually, it took me a full week to figure out what I was going to do. I kept playing songs from the album and rejecting everything I was coming up with. Then, after I got the idea, I first crafted the lyrics together. Then I had to sculpt the ebb and flow of the musical drama. I think Games of Thrones might have had an effect on me, pushing me to the epic, the tragic, the violent. You know, I am much more "boisterous" in person, as the piano track and the overall mix has been compressed somewhat. the differences of my louds and softs, and the hammering of the keys on accents... I even break fingernails on occasion.

Thank you so much for you careful listening and thoughtful comments. You are one of the reasons this place is such a wonderful community, one worthy to return to! Peace and gratitude...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Llarion said 1323 days ago (July 8th, 2013)
Love the way your mind works...
Delightfully twisted. Paul P nailed it. Your sense of style and bombast at the piano drives this groove so relentlessly; leavened by your deft vocal treatment of it. the boogie left hand is superb... BTW, to display a video, you do thee share feature on YouTube, and click the "old embedding format" box... I went thought that too, on one of the new songs I've uploaded recently...
Check out my latest song called Door to Babylon
TobinMueller said 1323 days ago (July 8th, 2013)
Delightfully twisted
Thanks! I rarely sing songs like this, so the twisted part was fun to play up. And thanks for the youtube tip. I will give it a try!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Bob Rodgers said 1323 days ago (July 8th, 2013)
I
love the boogie piano intro and the whole piece is a wonderful performance of your superb piano style that is very enjoyable to hear.
I really enjoyed this and nice vocals to accompany your quality piano playing.

Bob
Check out my latest song called She Loves Me (acoustic)
TobinMueller said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
boogie piano
Kind of bop boogie piano ;-)

Thanks for the listen and enjoyment. This was, indeed, a fun song to work on!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
woofer3 said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
I Have Been Deceived
Cleverly arranged medley of these Elton John pieces which is tinged with a Doctor John feel to it. I can remember years ago taking his Tumbleweed Connection album to bits and playing songs like Burn down the mission and Where to now St.Peter live with the band I was with at the time. Glorious music. This is very imaginative and original post, superb work. indeed.
Check out my latest song called Drunken bakers [08-01]
TobinMueller said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
Doctor John
Thanks. I am a Doctor John fan! Tumbleweed Connection was a fun album. I was thinking in terms of that, from a jazzier perspective, during the third verse that starts around 3:30. But I was always more drawn to the melodramatic nature of his "Elton John" album.

Love you new stuff, by the way. You are great with expressing irony and humor in your music!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
Advance Jazz
at it's best. This is one tech stuff, finger's a blazin, lyrics amazin with lots of cool re-arrangin and I'm a grazin on Tobin's incredible talent :)
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
Rhymin' monster!
Nice comments! Could be lyrics for a song, they rhyme so well. Ha!
Thanks, Bill. You are such an asset to this site. Love you!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
KCsGROOVE said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
been deceived
impressive work, lyricwise and musical
great phrasing on the piano and vox
very much enjoyed!
KC
Check out my latest song called DIAMONDS AND PEARLS (#2)
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
impressive work
Thanks, KC. Glad you enjoyed it! Appreciated!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tokai said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
cool
really enjoyed reading this narrative. upbeat and unique.
Check out my latest song called sleeper
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
upbeat and unique
Thanks for reading it! It's good to know all that stuff gets read! For such a tragic and cynical song, it is rather upbeat. I like that!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
peacepiano said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
Real Deal
I listened while looking at the slide show. Nice combination, I wonder what Bernie Taupin was thinking. He could not have envisioned Game of Thrones. Loose, relaxed piano accompaniment supports the vocals so well it sounds like you have been singing this one for years. Thanks for the musical treat!
Check out my latest song called Beat SoloMe-O
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
I wonder what Bernie Taupin was thinking
Right! Was this a protest song against Nixon? Or a comment on interventions in South America in the 70s? Or just a philosophical narrative about the tenuousness or constancy of life and power? Or a human tale, like Shakespeare would offer? Glad you thought this sounded natural and not forced or newly rehearsed. All those years acting on stage pay off from time to time! Thanks
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
rok41 said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
Benn Deceived
Clever take and arrangement on one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums as well. Piano playing shines as expected; this has devious feel to it in my opinion, likely because of the phrasing, suited well for a theatrical production. Outside the box for sure, and works!
Check out my latest song called Long Day 2015 (w/awigze)
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
devious feel
There is something subversive about this song. I felt it. I think becuz it questions yet upholds norms and values, both. But, ultimately, makes you want to break out of the cycles...

Thanks for the great comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Philip18 said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
I have been deceived
You piano playing is excellent here- so full of energy and variety. Fascinating restructuring of the original works so that you have created something new. The narrative is interesting and maintains attention throughout. Impressive work, Tobin!
Check out my latest song called Toe Tapper
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
full of energy and variety
Thank you. Glad you were able to follow along and be engaged during the whole story. I love that! Appreciate the listen and crafted comments. Cheers!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
alackbass said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
I Have Been Deceived
I was always a big fan of 11-17-70. Great live album with just Elton, Dee, and Nigel. "Take me to the Pilot" is my favorite track on that album so I was really interested to hear your take on it. Nice blend of styles with a bit of a nod toward New Orleans. Overall your arrangements and medley move this from singer/songwriter rock into a musical theatre vibe. That may be coming from the playwright in you. Strong vocal.
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
nod toward New Orleans
Nice catch. I love New Orleans and find the thrill and openness of that music influencing me even when the setting has nothing to do with that style. Yes, this has a musical theatre vibe, which is second nature to me. Glad it wasn't off-putting! Thanks for the careful listen and great comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Outtaorbit said 1322 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
The deception
Finally revealed.......
Check out my latest song called My Last Great Depression
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
revealed
...I know what you mean. Yet, even when the deception is revealed, will the people or the next king behave any differently? The vexing question...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Vic Holman said 1321 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
elton meets the game of thrones...
... to funny. it would be cool though to see him in a guest appearance.

well there is no deceiving in your delivery. powerful piano and the honky tonk solo made me think how E.J. would do that as well from time to time
Check out my latest song called Could Have Been Anything
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
guest appearance
Ok, I gotta start a fan website to draft Elton John as a celebrity guest on Game of Thrones!!!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
oldlibmike said 1321 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
Club feel
Feel like I'm in a club seeing a show - very good blending and unique arrangement all around. Also one of my favorite albums so this was a treat!
Check out my latest song called Apprehension in E Minor
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
seeing a show
Thanks! The problem is, I don't know most of the songs people request, and I hate to make errors when playing, so I avoid the club scene if the audience can shout ideas and requests... :-)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Sigmund said 1321 days ago (July 9th, 2013)
Deceived
The fascinating thing about this tune, is how your complex and sophisticated arrangement really doesn't allow you to follow along so much; more it sweeps you off your feet and carries you along forcefully and with intent from start to finish. You effortlessly weave in and out of one genre and then you're on to another, and you effectively tie it all together to create an interesting and energetic piece. A fitting tribute to one of our generation's finest talents. Very enjoyable "E" ticket ride - thanks!
Sig
Check out my latest song called No Pain - feat. Strangedream & Rok41
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
weeps you off your feet
A non-passive experience! I like that. I do love to weave from genre to genre, key to key. Music for the easily bored.

Yes, Elton is a gem! In many ways. And Bernie Taupin and underrated lyricist. Imagine setting those words to music without Elton's original ideas to guide...!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Joanna said 1321 days ago (July 10th, 2013)
TobinMueller
What comes through the strongest for me is how much you are enjoying yourself. You sound wrapped up in the music, the rhythm, the keys, just having a great time. To me, that's often the goal.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
having a great time
Thanks. I love when I am finally satisfied with something that has been vexing me for days. That is as much a part of the enjoyment as the playing! Relief performance! Thanks for checking in on the song. Appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
J_Gretch said 1321 days ago (July 10th, 2013)
I Have Been Deceived
Wow!...No long laundry list of instruments and fx here.Just a man and his piano.Wonderfully done sir,enjoyed every note.
Check out my latest song called All I'll ever Need
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
Just a man and his piano
That is what my last two projects have been about, just me and my piano. So many hours, just we two...

Thanks for noting that. Cheers!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
J.A.Stewart said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
It's a Little Bit Funny...
what you've done in this treatment of Sir Elton's early works, Tobin. Sort of Elton on Wry. Very... VERY... cool. B)

--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
TobinMueller said 1320 days ago (July 11th, 2013)
Wry
Elton on the rocks! Goes with the Game of Thrones motif too!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
MarkHolbrook said 1319 days ago (July 12th, 2013)
John was always
on in my car or home. I scored a diamond needle through a couple of John LPs before they lost all their luster. Had to go buy a new copy!

You do him some serious justice! Nicely done!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
TobinMueller said 1319 days ago (July 12th, 2013)
serious justice
Thanks! that made me smile. Great riding music!!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
jiguma said 1318 days ago (July 13th, 2013)
I've not seen any Game of Thrones episodes
....... does that make me unique? Also haven't listened to much Elton John since Tumbleweed Connection. So nothing much familiar here.
What I hear is your usual excellent piano and dramatic interpretation Tobin - all cool.
Cheers from Oz,
Neil
Check out my latest song called Some Say We Get What We Deserve
TobinMueller said 1318 days ago (July 13th, 2013)
Tumbleweed Connection
Funny, that is the one album of Elton's I didn't like much, mainly becuz of the near mono recording back in the day. Does that make me unique? lol

Always great for the Voice from Oz to lend an ear. Thanks!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Doug Somers said 1316 days ago (July 14th, 2013)
Deceived
Conceiving such a new take on the lyrics not to mention crafting the blues/jazz accompaniment seems to me like a lot of work! The results of your efforts are engaging, like listening to a bard sing of tales of the far off king. (Maybe I've been watching too much Game of Thrones!). Your voice sounds strong and in control here as you tell the story right up to the juxtaposition of the King's final predicament vs. his intention. Piano performance doesn't let down your vocals by any stretch.

Sir Elton would no doubt be most supportive of your song, and if you do start a fan site to get him on GoT let me know!


Check out my latest song called Youthful Adventure
PeterB7858 said 1316 days ago (July 15th, 2013)
I Have Been Deceived
You have really put your own stamp on this mash up, Tobin. Sounds like you are really enjoying yourself, vamping it up a bit, and adding some great flourishes. Neat ending, too. Enjoyed. Thanks, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Lifeline
Monkaton said 1301 days ago (July 30th, 2013)
Elton Tobin
Ambitious project and a tough thing to do, but nicely done.
Check out my latest song called The Chord
I.G.M. said 1194 days ago (November 13th, 2013)
Hey man
good to hear you`re singing. I hope it works well for you!
The song sounds like some early take, full of life and always a bit like Bowie (which is good in my opinion)^^
And although the night is dark and full of horror your song shine as gems do.
Check out my latest song called Reflexions
Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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