In a world of streaming, it’s tougher and tougher for a music to develop into a very galvanising, shared expertise. Which is why sure songs stay iconic anthems which just about everybody the world over can recite, line for line.
And a kind of songs is undoubtedly Candle within the Wind.
The anthemic monitor from Elton John (with lyrics written by Bernie Taupin) has been launched twice – first in 1973 after which, famously, rewritten and rerecorded to commemorate the lack of Princess Diana.
The 1997 model, carried out solely as soon as for the funeral of Diana, modified the lyrics to focus much less on Norma Jeane – the birthname of Marilyn Monroe – and targeted on the late Princess who had died in August of the identical yr.
So the music has targeted on two very iconic blondes who captured the hearts and minds of individuals the world over. Nonetheless, in what is sort of frankly surprising information, the unique music was by no means meant to be about Marilyn – which, in one other actuality, may need meant that it by no means would’ve been rewritten for Diana.
However simply who was it about?
Nicely, the prolific author – who has just lately launched a memoir – revealed it was about one other traditional Hollywood star: Montgomery Clift.
Explaining how the music happened, Bernie advised Graham Norton, “I appreciated the title of [Russian author] Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s guide, which is a metaphor for a life snuffed out too quickly.”
“On the similar time, I noticed The Misfits and was fascinated by Montgomery Clift who died younger. However then I questioned how many individuals would know who he was.”
He continued, “I didn’t take care of Marilyn, [but] folks would suppose her a way more fragile character and extra indicative of the “candle within the wind” [metaphor].”
Montgomery Clift starred alongside Marilyn within the film, The Misfits. Whereas Marilyn’s tragedies are well-known and her legacy stays – with folks nonetheless fascinated by particulars like whether or not her physique actually went lacking after her dying – Montgomery Clift wasn’t with out his personal demons.
A homosexual man when he would’ve needed to stay closeted, Montgomery was usually solid because the heartthrob, owing to his traditional beauty.
Good mates with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery had what has been known as “the longest suicide in Hollywood” after a gory automotive accident left his face scarred, and with lifelong well being problems.
He turned to drink and have become depressed – with some speculating his supressed sexuality had a task in his mentality – and in the end died of a coronary heart assault aged simply 45.
Whereas Montgomery’s life most positively would’ve made a captivating topic for the monitor, Bernie shared that he had no regrets for focusing the monitor on Marilyn.
“I’m glad I went along with her. In any other case, historical past would have been very completely different.”
Changing into one thing of an anthem for a beloved determine exploited and hounded to dying, the monitor bore apparent similarities to the demise of Diana. The story has it that, being near the late Princess, Elton was requested to carry out at her funeral.
Whereas they debated writing an authentic music, they as an alternative rewrote the lyrics to Candle within the Wind. References to Norma Jeane turned references to England’s Rose, amongst different adjustments.
Regardless of the considered the music being carried out to a grieving world tuning in for the funeral, Bernie’s rewrite took lower than an hour. He shared, “I re-wrote it in half an hour, it wasn’t troublesome.”
“I’ve solely really heard [the 1997 version] a few instances – as soon as at [Diana’s] funeral and as soon as within the studio, so I don’t bear in mind a phrase of it.”
It was launched on 13 September 1997 as a tribute single to Diana, Princess of Wales, with the worldwide proceeds from the music going in direction of Diana’s charities. In lots of international locations. It turned the best-selling single in UK chart historical past and has offered over 33 million copies worldwide.