An Analysis on Elton John’s Candle in the Wind 1997 Song


“Candle in the Wind 1997” was a rewritten version of Elton John’s 1973 hit song with the same title. The original version was a tribute to the American actress Norma Jeane, popularly known as Marylyn Monroe, where the song referred to her unhappy life under the spotlight with the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

When the singer Elton John found out about his good friend Princess Diana’s death he became depress. In order for him to cope with the lost of his friend, he decided to pay a tribute to her. He and his team revised the lyrics of the song, Candle in the Wind which was sang during the Princess’ funeral.

Candle in the Wind 1997 is a masterpiece for it was able to deliver its purpose in being a farewell song of the people to the Princess, portrayed Diana as a kind-hearted humanitarian who had touched the lives of the helpless and depressed with the song uttering the compassionate love and adoration of the people who were mourning the loss of their Queen of Hearts, however it unfortunately failed to relate to the original version’s theme of the invasion of privacy in the woman’s life which caused her pain in suffering when she was alive.

The main purpose and aim of the song “Candle in the Wind” was for Elton John together with the people who loved and cherished Diana Princess of Wales to bid farewell to her. The song was very clear in its message in being a parting tribute to the Princess with its opening line “Good bye England’s rose”, see line 1 of the song, referring to Diana as the country’s rose.

In the last parts of the song the farewell of the people was once again evident in the lines “Goodbye England’s rose from a country lost without your soul, who’ll miss the wings of your compassion more than you’ll ever know”, see line 37 – 40 of the song. Interviewed on his lyrics to the song, the writer, Taupin wanted to project that the country was singing the song thus he wrote it from nation’s standpoint (Davis, 103).

Aside from the purpose of saying goodbye to the Princess, the song was also able bring out the humanitarian in Diana with her social causes in eradicating problems, paying close attention to the sick, homeless, drug addicts, youth and elderly.

The lines “You were the grace that placed itself where lives were torn apart, you called out to our country and whispered to those in pain.”, see line 3 – 6 of the song, depicts the Princess’ concern and serious involvement with the poor, sick and needy. Diana was highly recognized with her missions in curing the social ills of the less fortunate and being a part of who she was, the song, Candle in the Wind, never failed to acknowledge her contributions.

The song never failed to utter the eternal love and adoration of the people highlighting the deep grief the country had fallen upon with the sudden death of the Princess. Candle in the Wind’s lyrics alone imparts among its listeners a deep profound devotion of a nation to an individual, in this version, Diana, Princess of Wales.

The lines “May you ever grow in our hearts.” as well as “and the stars spell out your name.” shows how much the people loved and respected Diana to such an extent that it may have seemed that was a saint worth worshiping, see line 2 and 8 respectively of the song.

The grief of the people is expressed in the lines “Loveliness we’ve lost these empty days without your smile”, see line 17 and 18 of the song, pertaining to the absence of the Princess which seemed like days were empty and meaningless. Dull are the days as the people mourn for Diana. And even though they try to move on and accept the facts and reality, the nation is still in shock as the song portrays in its lines “ and even though we try, the truth brings us to tears.”, see lines 21 – 22 of the song.

Candle in the Wind is a deep and emotionally sorrowful song honoured to the late Princess Diana of Wales. It tells the love and adoration of the people and the lost of a well loved princess. The original version of the song was a tribute to the late actress Norma Jeane popularly known as Marilyn Monroe. The song portrayed Monroe as someone who lived a life of pain and sadness because her privacy was being invaded by the media.

In the 1997 version of Candle in the Wind, the writers failed to remain loyal to the theme of privacy invasion which drove the Princess to live a miserable life. In lines 28 to 29 the song only repeated its first few lines, see lines 1 to 4, which is redundant. In these lines the writer could have mentioned how the Princess was hounded by the media in the song. It would have been consistent to the theme of the original version if the writer described the life of the princess in pain under the limelight. The song lacked the authenticity of the original.


Candle in the Wind was a song dedicated to the late Princess Diana by a mourning nation. Even if the song was not able to relate to the message of the original version about the invasion of privacy, it was able to serve as a farewell song of the people to the Princess for it vividly expresses the despair of the people in the death of Diana, it also portrayed her as someone who well loved and respected and her humanitarian side was highlighted in the song.