Having been a fan for forty years or more, I'm no closer to divining the meanings behind many of John's lyrics. Given that time is moving on for him as it is for all of us, it would be a great gesture if he were to provide some commentary on even a few of his songs. Paul McCartney recently published a double-volume book of the stories behind all of his songs. Such a move does not destroy any of the artistry, it simply places it in context. Who was The Man Who Dies Every Day? Where is the Plaza and is there a good restaurant? Who is the Blurred Girl and is digital photography able to bring her into focus?

John is not averse to explanations: in live gigs, he has occasionally provided brief introductions to songs that were otherwise oblique. John has kept his personal life more private than any musician I know of, so clearly that kind of commentary is unlikely, but some descriptions of specific songs, what he was feeling when he wrote them, the artistic ideas he was conveying - those would help us appreciate his talents even more.

But I suspect I plead in vain. Perhaps EV could run a contest to find fans' most absurd interpretation of an impenetrable Foxx lyric. My ex-partner used to chant "It's a burning car!" at inappropriate moments, and I've not the faintest notion what the song is about. Some kind of metaphor for emotional pain in extreme circumstances? Come on, John, give us a clue.