Apparently, he’s not the man we think he is at home. Oh, no no no.
Who figured that President Donald Trump, in his gold-plated Trump Tower aerie or in the private residence of the White House, was spinning Elton John tunes? Trump seemed more like a Tony Bennett/Billy Joel/Toby Keith kind of guy. After all, he invited Bennett and Joel to his Mar-A-Lago wedding reception, if you’ll recall.
But when Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” again in his fire-and-brimstone speech to the United Nations on Tuesday morning (he started talking pretty close to “zero hour, 9 am,” too), Trump clearly proved that his list of obsessions includes a passing knowledge of ’70s Boomer classics.
This isn’t the first time Trump has used an Elton John-Bernie Taupin song.
During the campaign, Trump used both “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer” at rallies. John pointed out that permission had not been given, and in an interview with the Guardian newspaper he wasn’t happy about it:
“I don’t really want my music to be involved in anything to do with an American election campaign. I’m British. I’ve met Donald Trump, he was very nice to me, it’s nothing personal, his political views are his own, mine are very different, I’m not a Republican in a million years. Why not ask Ted (expletive) Nugent? Or one of those (expletive) country stars? They’ll do it for you.”
The Twitterverse, naturally, blew up after Tuesday’s speech. #RocketMan began trending on Twitter. There were pictures of Kim Jong Un in sparkly Elton John clothing. And people had a lot of thoughts on the subject, ranging from outrage that John’s song was being used in this fashion to anger that Trump had created a “Rocket Man” earworm.
"Rocket Man" has been added to Donald Trump's list of politician nicknames. https://t.co/d8jvvwV3F3— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) September 17, 2017
Trump’s UN comment that “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission” does, in a weird way, prove that the President understands the song. In the Taupin lyric, the lonely astronaut frets that he may not get home at all (“I think it’s gonna be a long, long time”) and that he may be on a suicide mission of sorts (“Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone”).
On the other hand, some people think “Rocket Man” isn’t about space exploration but drug exploration (“I’m gonna be high as a kite by then.”)
And the song lyrics might prove to be a goldmine of future Trump Tweets:
On Palm Beach: “Mars-A-Lago ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.”
On climate change: “And all this science I don’t understand.”
On why he likes to get away from the White House so often: “It’s just my job five days a week.”