When indigenous fail, music steps right into the breach. ~ Lady Diana"s death, "Candle in the Wind," Elton John"s ballad around a life extinguished early, came to be the most successful solitary since the arrival of the charts.

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Originally, "Candle in the Wind" was intended to celebrateanother star. That its1973 release, presented by the native "Goodbye, Norma Jean,"Elton John and also his lyricist Bernie Taupin paid tribute come Marilyn Monroe - describing not so much the film star as the turbulent life that a perceptible person damaged by her stardom.

Taupin later revealed that he hadn"t assumed up the an allegory of a candle in the wind himself but had been inspired by an obituary to one more female star who died tragically young: Janis Joplin, who overdosed top top heroin in 1970at the period of 27.

Then, on august 31, 1997 come the horrifying news: Lady Di had died in a car collision.

Elton John remained in shock.

After conference Diana in 1981 once he sang at a date of birth celebration because that Prince Andrew, they"d become close friends. Only six weeks prior to her death, she"d consoled him in ~ the funeral of another friend, the fashion designer Gianni Versace.


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Elton John and also Lady Di, pictured right here with George Michael (right), to be close friends


From Marilyn come Diana

The royal family contacted Elton man to ask whetherhe would sing in ~ Diana"s funeral.The track "Candle in the Wind" instantly came to mind, however the text about a Hollywood star would have been unreasonable at a memorial business in Westminster Abbey.

John contacted Bernie Taupin in California, that wrote a brand-new text, illustration parallels in between the life of Diana and also that that Marilyn Monroe, who had likewise died at period 36.

"I wanted to do it sound like a country singing it," claimed Taupin. The message was finished within hours. "From the first pair of lines i wrote, the remainder sort of dropped into place."

At Diana"s funeral on September 6, 1997 - seven days ~ the tragedy - Elton man sat at the piano and also sang "Goodbye, England"s Rose." Later, he defined the endure as "surreal." "What to be going through my mind to be "Don"t song a dorn note. Be stoic. Don"t break down and simply do itthe ideal you can possibly execute it without showing any emotion whatsoever." mine heart was beating fairly a lot, I need to say."

The effect was overwhelming, "like who firing one arrow" through his emotional defenses, Prince Harry later on revealed.

Read more:UK"s Prince Harry fall stiff upper lip end Diana death

Only 12 years old, he and also his brother William had actually to endure the eyes of the civilization on them at the memorial company for their mom - and also both were figured out not to cry. However hardly another eye of the 2,000 in attendance at Westminster Abbey to be dry at the words "Now girlfriend belong to sky / and the stars spell out your name."

Read more:Why ns didn"t clock Princess Diana"s funeral

A phenomenalcharts success


A manufacturing in West London"s Townhouse Studios was finished posthaste through piano and vocals by Elton John, well balanced by a cable quartet and also an oboist to accommodate the special arrangement by teacher George Martin. Top top September 13, 1997, precisely a main after Diana"s funeral, "Goodbye, England"s Rose" to be released on the B-side that a record with one more Elton john song, "Something about the method You look Tonight."

The sales outperformed everything to date, totaling 658,000 on the very first day alone. One week later, castle stood in ~ 1.5 million units, and also after 15 days, three million. Sales in the US at some point totaled 11 million, and also in Germany4.75 million copies.

It"s approximated that in ~ the do the washing up of sales, "Goodbye, England"s Rose" changed hands six times per second.

With 33 million units marketed worlpriziv.orgide, it is sometimes called the best-selling solitary ever, although the rank is disputed. In ~ an approximated - but unverifiable - 50 million units, bing Crosby"s "White Christmas" tho holds the optimal spot in the Guinness book of Records. Plenty of of those records had been sold before the development of the pop charts in the 1950s.


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One-time song

Elton man performed "Goodbye, England"s Rose" only as soon as - at Diana"s funeral - and never again.

In concerts he always performs the earlier, 1973 version of "Candle in the Wind." The artist specified that sales proceeds native the 1997 version go to charitable causes that had actually been close come Diana"s heart.

A fund was set up, and after it was closed 15 years later in 2012, a total of 138 million brothers pounds ($177 million) had actually been tallied up, of which an astonishing 38 million pounds ($49 million) come from the sale of "Candle in the Wind" alone.

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Here"s the tune text:

Goodbye England"s rose might you ever grow in our hearts You to be the elegant that placed itself Where resides were take it apart You referred to as out come our country and you whispered to those in pain now you belong to heaven and also the stars spell out your name

And it seems to me you live your life favor a candle in the wind never ever fading through the sunset as soon as the rain collection in and your footsteps will constantly fall here Along England"s greenest hills her candle"s melted out long prior to Your legend ever before will

Loveliness we"ve shed These north days there is no your laugh This torch we"ll always carry because that our nation"s golden child and also even despite we try The reality brings united state to tears every our words can not express The joy you lugged us with the years

Goodbye England"s rose From a nation lost without your soul Who"ll miss the wings of your compassion an ext than you"ll ever know.