He’s Been There Enough

Elton John – Daniel

Eyes are referenced throughout.  When I was a little boy I fell in love with the melody and puzzled over the words. I thought it was about a blind person.  “Your eyes have died, but you see more than I” meant that older brother Daniel had some inner wisdom that supplanted his blindness.

But Daniel’s eyes work just fine, mechanically.  Daniel literally sees more than the singer of the song because Daniel goes places.  The singer doesn’t.  It’s a song about being left behind, the saddest feeling in the world.  Daniel isn’t blind, he just doesn’t value life now, so his “eyes have died”.  Daniel can go to Spain. 

As if answering a question, the singer says “no I’ve never been” (to Spain). “Daniel says it’s the best place he’s ever seen.”  After the words “ever seen” have been drawn out lovingly over several syllables, a shift: “He should know. He’s been there enough.” This bitter aside makes the song. The singer immediately follows by repeating that he misses him so much.  He can’t resent him for long.

Bernie Taupin’s lyrics have never gotten a lot of respect but this is perfect.  The singer doesn’t get to go places, but his eyes haven’t died.  Can even see Daniel waving goodbye from a plane in the sky.