This song, the only single from John's album "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy," reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975.
The lyrics, written by John's partner Bernie Taupin, refer to a time in the late 1960s when John was contemplating marriage to then-girlfriend, Linda Woodrow, with whom he and Taupin shared at flat in the London East End (a reference noted in the first line of the song).
With grave doubts about the upcoming marriage, John contemplated taking his own life. He found solace with his friends, particularly Long John Baldry, who persuaded John to call off his wedding plans so he could focus on his musical career. John knew Baldry was right, but didn't know how he'd be able to break the news to his girlfriend. In the end, he chose to get drunk, went home, and simply said, "I'm not getting married."
In gratitude and respect for Baldry's efforts to keep John from making a monumental mistake, Taupin wrote Baldry into the song as the "someone" who saved John's life. The "sugar bear" reference is for him as well.
And someone saved my life tonight, sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me, didn't you dear
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