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The song's lyrics compare the shooting of Jesse James by James' outlaw-partner Robert Ford to Taupin's failed marriage to his first wife Maxine Feibelman, of "Tiny Dancer" fame. The song reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1976, but failed to chart in the singer's native United Kingdom.
A live version, recorded in England in May of 1977 with just Elton on piano and Ray Cooper on percussion, was released by MCA Records on the To Be Continued... boxed set.