Song Lyric Sunday | “Candle in the Wind” – Elton John

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “Songs that includes somebody famous in it

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Originally written in 1973 by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Candle in the Wind was a tribute to actress Marilyn Monroe who’d died eleven years earlier.

It’s opening line, “Goodbye, Norma Jean”, refers to Monroe’s real name… Norma Jeane Baker.

Taupin said the song is about “the idea of fame or youth or somebody being cut short in the prime of their life. The song could have been about James Dean, it could have been about Montgomery Clift, it could have been about Jim Morrison … how we glamorize death, how we immortalize people.”

John would rewrite the song twenty-four years later as Candle in the Wind 1997 for a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales after her death. He never says Diana’s name, but refers to her as England’s Rose.

FUN FACTS:

  • The single release of the original song reached No. 11 in the UK charts in 1974. At the time, it was not released as a single in the United States (Bennie and the Jets was chosen instead).
  • During a concert on 7 April 1990 at Farm Aid IV, John dedicated Candle in the Wind to young Ryan White, who had been suffering from AIDS. White died from AIDS complications the next day.
  • According to the Guinness Book of Records, Candle in the Wind 1997 is the second highest selling single of all time (behind Bing Crosby’s White Christmas from 1942), and is the highest-selling single since charts began in the 1950s.
  • The 1997 version won Elton John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 40th Grammy Awards ceremony in 1998.

I’ve posted both versions of the song’s lyrics with videos. The first video is from Elton’s Madison Square Garden concert, and the second is from the memorial service for Princess Diana. (With a one minute lead-in in Italian! Performance begins at 1:07)

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for Nesie’s Place!

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Candle in the Wind

11 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday | “Candle in the Wind” – Elton John

  1. Great song Felicia, this fits perfectly with the prompt. I never knew about the Princess Diana version and I always thought she was a special lady. I worked on a project that was started due to her being upset that children were dying from unexploded cluster bombs that they found on the ground and thought were toys. My company made a tiny battery that was placed in this self destruct fuse that ensured the bombs would explode on impact and prevent children from getting injured.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 😀 We really do have great minds, Fle, this is proof! LOL

    I knew about the Princess Diana version and probably caught it when her funeral was originally televised, but I’d never listened to the lyrics before today, I’m glad you posted it. Growing up in Diana’s time, it gets you right in the feels, doesn’t it? I can imagine that’s how the original was for those who actually grew up in Marilyn’s time.

    Liked by 1 person

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