Media News : Elton John Borrowed the Chorus of ‘Crocodile Rock’ From an Old Pat Boone Song .

“Crocodile Rock” is one of Elton John’s most famous songs. Many love to sing along to the catchy chorus that includes an infectious “la la la” bit. However, the “la la la” section of the chorus comes from another song by Pat Boone that John borrowed. 

“Crocodile Rock” was Elton John’s first No. 1 single in the U.S.

Elton John was born in England and emerged as one of the country’s biggest pop stars in the early 1970s. Tracks like “Tiny Dancer”, “Your Song”, and “Rocket Man”, made him a global superstar and one of the most famous artists in the U.S. In 1972, he released “Crocodile Rock” as a single with “Elderberry Wine” as the B-side. “Crocodile Rock” was an immediate hit and became John’s first single to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. 

The track was later included on John’s No. 1 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player. John and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin wrote it. The track features a fantastic piano performance from John, along with an infectious “la la la” section that everyone can sing along to. However, this section originally came from a 1961 David Hess song called “Speedy Gonzalez”, later covered by Boone. 

Pat Boone revealed John stole a fragment from his song for ‘Crocodile Rock’

Boone is an American pop singer who rose to popularity during the 1950s. Many of his hit songs were covers of songs by other famous musicians, like Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” and “Ain’t That a Shame” by Fats Domino. One of his hits was “Speedy Gonzalez”, which features the iconic “la la la” section later popularized by Elton John in “Crocodile Rock”.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Boone revealed that he confronted John about this. John didn’t deny that he took that refrain from Boone’s song and he thought Boone was going to sue him over it. 

“I said. ‘Sue you?’ You know, we performers, we’re thrilled when somebody does something that we did,’” Boone said. “‘I was honored.’”

John then admitted he was a huge fan of Boone’s and he knew he needed to use the “la la la” verse from “Speedy Gonzalez” after he heard it.

“He said, ‘I had all your records. I had ‘Love letters in the Sand’ and ‘April Love’ and all those songs,’” Boone recalled. “‘But when I heard ‘Speedy Gonzales,’ I knew I was going to have to use that ‘La la la la la la la la la.‘”

John has little interest in continuing to perform ‘Crocodile Rock’


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Even though “Crocodile Rock” is one of his biggest hits and a real crowd-pleaser, Elton John said it has become tiresome to perform it during concerts. There aren’t many songs he refuses to perform besides “Candle in the Wind”, but “Crocodile Rock” may become one soon. In a 2021 interview with The Mirror, John admitted he and Taupin initially wrote it as a “joke,” and then it became a hit. He performs it to satisfy the audience, but he vows to remove it from his set after his Farewell Tour. 

“The last time I have to sing ‘Crocodile Rock’ I will probably throw a party,” John expressed. “It was written as a kind of a joke, like a pastiche. And it became a big hit, and people love to sing along. So who am I to say ‘I am not going to play it’ because I play to amuse and to entertain people. But I have to say when the last show is done at the end of the tour I will never ever sing that song again.”