Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
Available on the album Caribou

F  C/F  Bb/F

F                                      Bb/F                               F                   Bb/F
"An extremely quiet child" they called you in your school reports
            F                          Bbsus/F Bb/F                   F          Bb/F
"He's always taken interest in the subjects that he's taught"
    Am                                                                                     Gm 
So what was it that brought the squad car screaming up your drive
     C                                         Bb                          F       Bb/F
To notify your parents of the manner in which you died

          F                                Bb/F                                    F      Bb/F 
At St. Patricks every Sunday, Father Fletcher heard your sins
              F                                             Bbsus/F Bb/F                F      Bb/F
"Oh, he's unconcerned with competition he        never cares to win"
      Am                                                                Gm 
But blood stained a young hand that never held a gun
            C                                          Bb                        F    Bb/F 
And his parents never thought of him as their troubled son

F      Am/E  Dm 
"Now you'll never get to Heaven" 
Gm            C                             F               A7 
Mama said Remember Mama said Ticking, ticking
Dm                                             Gm
"Grow up straight and true blue, Run along to bed"
C        C/Bb Am       Gm        F 
Hear it,      hear it, ticking, ticking

        F                                                Bb/F                          F        Bb/F 
They had you holed up in a downtown bar screaming for a priest
         F                                                    Bbsus/F Bb/F                        F       Bb/F 
Some gook said "His brain's just snapped" then     someone called the police
       Am                                                                      Gm 
You knifed a Negro waiter who had tried to calm you down
              C                                           Bb                       F          Bb/F 
Oh you'd pulled a gun and told them all to lay still on the ground

F                                      Bb/F                                F 
Promising to hurt no one, providing they were still
    F                                                 Bbsus/F Bb/F                       F
A young man tried to make a break, with     tear-filled eyes you killed
      Am                                                                        Gm 
That gun butt felt so smooth and warm cradled in your palm
             C                                                 Bb                              F 
Oh your childhood cried out in your head "they mean to do you harm"

 F Am/E Dm                                                 Gm 
             "Don't ever ride on the devil's knee" Mama said
   C                          C/Bb   F        A7 
Remember mama said     Ticking, ticking
Dm                                              Gm
"Pay your penance well, my child Fear where angels tread"
C   C/Bb Am       Gm        F 
Hear it, hear it, ticking, ticking

F                                                       Bb/F         F 
Within an hour the news had reached the media machine
   F                                       Bbsus/F Bb/F                  F
A male Caucasian with a gun had      gone berserk in Queens
       Am                                                                         Gm 
The area had been sealed off, the kids sent home from school
C                                              Bb                                      F 
Fourteen people lying dead in a bar they called the Kicking Mule

             F                                 Bb/F                         F 
Oh they pleaded to your sanity for the sake of those inside
F                                                  Bbsus/F    Bb/F                      F
"Throw out your gun, walk out slow just keep your hands held high"
Am                                                                                         Gm 
But they pumped you full of rifle shells as you stepped out the door
            C                                                 Bb                                  F 
Oh you danced in death like a marionette on the vengeance of the law

F Am/E Dm                                              Gm
            "You've slept too long in silence" Mama said
C                                F               A7 
Remember Mama said Ticking, ticking
Dm                                                                                     Gm
"Crazy boy, you'll only wind up with strange notions in your head"
C C/Bb   Am       Gm        F 
Hear it, hear it, ticking, ticking

F  C/F  Bb/F