♫ Candle in the Wind ♫ (Redux)

I first posted this one in August 2018, but I think it’s worth repeating.  

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jean Mortenson on June 1st 1926, died of a drug overdose on August 5th 1962.  This song, Candle in the Wind, is a tribute to Ms. Monroe, written by Elton John’s writing partner, Bernie Taupin.  Said Taupin:

“I think the biggest misconception about ‘Candle In The Wind’ is that I was this rabid Marilyn Monroe fanatic, which really couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not that I didn’t have a respect for her. It’s just that the song could just as easily have been about James Dean or Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain. I mean, it could have been about Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf. I mean, basically, anybody, any writer, actor, actress, or musician who died young and sort of became this iconic picture of Dorian Gray, that thing where they simply stopped aging. It’s a beauty frozen in time.”

On April 7, 1990 Elton dedicated this to Ryan White, one of the first high-profile AIDS patients, when he performed it at Farm Aid 4. White, who got the disease from a blood transfusion, died the next night at age 18.

Taupin rewrote the lyrics to this song after Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car accident on August 31, 1997. Diana was friends with Elton John and also a big fan – she identified with the sentiment in “Candle In The Wind,” especially the lyrics, “They made you change your name, never knowing who to cling to when the rain set in” and “even when you died, the press still hounded you.” 

With the song rewritten, most notably with the first line changed from “Goodbye Norma Jean” to “Goodbye England’s Rose,” Elton played it at Princess Diana’s funeral on September 6.  I love both versions, but for tonight I will play the original …

Candle in the Wind
Elton John

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the twenty second row
Who sees you as something more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Candle in the Wind lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

28 thoughts on “♫ Candle in the Wind ♫ (Redux)

  1. Pingback: ♫ Candle in the Wind ♫ (Redux) – Karen O'Brien Country Music

  2. I am not particular royalist but must say that I feel for Prince Harry and William. They were the same age like my brother and I were when our mother passed away. Her parents had helped many refugees in our village after WWII so basically the whole village was at her funeral. Their situation was so much bigger than ours but I understand how it must have felt. This song always makes me cry but I think its a great dedication to incredible people no matter who its dedicated to 🙋‍♀️🐝🕯

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I questioned whether to like this or not. Once one of my favourite Elton John songs it was spoiled for me by the second version.Elton/Bernie Taupin may have meant this as a generic siong for any ‘Died too young’ star but the public thought it was for Marilyn and it was Marilyn’s memory tat was cheapened by using the song for someone else. Such a talented couple could surely have written something just for Diana and her memory.
    So I decided to miss Liking it as a form of rebellion whilst actually enjoying the original record.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heh heh … thinking back to your comment (well, actually I looked back, for my memory is not that good) the first time I played this, I knew I’d be doomed if I played the Diana version, so I made sure to play the original. Your rebellion/protest is duly noted, and I’m glad you enjoyed the song.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful song, always loved it and we have Princess Diana’s version too, quite moving. Thanks for posting this. The day is starting out well, Just listened to a lovely song on Tippy’s blog and then found this one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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