The meaning of Ivanka Trump’s RNC walkout song explained

The fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention brought out some big names: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Alice Johnson, the woman famously brought to the president’s attention by none other than Kim Kardashian, whom he subsequently granted clemency. But it was the last two speakers of the night that everyone really wanted to see: Ivanka Trump, the penultimate speaker; and her father, Donald. 

If there’s one thing Ivanka knows how to do, it’s make an entrance, and though the first daughter walked out to give her speech at the RNC dressed fairly casually — in a long-sleeve, boat-neck, black tunic and simple gray slacks — the song playing as she approached the podium sounded quite familiar.

'I'm Still Standing' might not mean what we think it means

In case you couldn’t place it, Ivanka’s walkout song was none other than Sir Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.” The obvious connotation of the song is that of strength, survival, and ultimate triumph. The lyrics accompanied her on the stage, with John singing, “You could never know what it’s like, Your blood, like winter, freezes just like ice, And there’s a cold, lonely light that shines from you, You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use…” (via Genius).

However, according to the songwriter, that might not actually be how the song was originally intended. SongFacts quotes lyricist Bernie Taupin as explaining, “It’s perhaps one more example of the original idea being interpreted by everyone into something quite different. I think people see it as an anthem based on Elton’s strong sense of survival in the face of adversity. Which, believe me, is perfectly fine by me. In fact, it’s probably infinitely more interesting, perhaps, than what it was initially written about. Which, if my memory serves me correctly, it was a sort of kiss off to an old girlfriend. You know the sort of thing, ‘Don’t you worry about me, I’ll be perfectly fine.'”

So perhaps Ivanka’s walkout song didn’t have quite the meaning the RNC meant it to when it was written, but they’ve claimed it now. All that’s left to do is see how Elton John feels about it. 

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