Throwback Thursday: Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind”

Lizzy Partsch, Staff Writer

Elton John has received numerous awards for his brilliantly written and composed songs and albums, even receiving more than 50 Top 40 hits and including seven number 1 albums. Some even claiming he’s one of the best selling music artists in the world, which isn’t hard to believe.

Though one of his most heartwarming and enduring songs, “Candle in the Wind,” surely holds a special place in our hearts.

Originally written as a tribute for Marilyn Monroe, it talks about the hardship and struggle she faced as a major sex symbol of the ’50s. It was released 11 years after her death, in 1973. It tends to highlight how she was used by Hollywood in lines like, “They set you on the treadmill, and they made you change your name” or also lines like “Even when you died, Oh the press still hounded you, All the papers had to say, was that Marilyn was found in the nude.” The song symbolizes the tragic death of the young actress/singer due to suicide. Although she lived a short life, she had certainly made a lasting impression of today’s generation of women and even men.

It was also rewritten for the late Princess Diana, in 1997, who died in a tragic car accident, speeding away from paparazzi. He refers to her as “England’s Rose” for her beloved and cherished contribution of England, for being their Princess Diana. He mentions her major contributions to England in lines like, “Where lives were torn apart, you called out to our country, and you whispered to those in pain.” He also sings about how much England will miss her loveliness and how she will ever leave a lasting impression in their hearts.

By far one of the most enduring lyrics in both versions of the song, is the repeated chorus “and it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind………..your candles burned out long before your legend ever will.” His use of one simple, but brilliant simile, surely makes the song come to life.

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