Sir Elton John, (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight) is an English pianist, singer and composer. He has sold over 300 million records in his career which has spanned over five decades, making him one of the best-selling artists in the world. He has been working with his song writing partner Bernie Taupin since they met in 1967. John has also established the “Elton John AIDS Foundation” which in 1992, which has raised over 200 million US dollars since then. John also came out as gay in 1988 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth on the 24th February 1998.
“Candle in the Wind” is the second track on the 1973 album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. Written by both John and Bernie Taupin, the track tells the tale of Norma Jeane, also known as Marilyn Monroe. It discusses the things she lost rising to fame and also her sad death. The first verse starts with “Goodbye Norma Jeane / Though I never knew you at all”, with John directly calling her by her true name rather than what she later called herself. John praises the ability to hold herself while the people around her tried to influence her into looking different “they crawled out of the woodwork / and they whispered into your brain / they set you on a treadmill / and they made you change your name”. The chorus compares Monroe’s life to “a candle in the wind”, meaning that her life was always all over the place and she was constantly in a vulnerable position. John admits that he would have liked to have known her but he “was just a kid” and feels that she died long before her “legend did”. The second verse discusses how lonely Monroe felt, and how even though she was a superstar she had to pay the price of pain. It also goes over how when she was found dead, the tabloids simply focused on the fact that was naked at the scene of her death, rather than what could have happened or any other important details. The final verse is saying goodbye to Monroe, and how there was at least one man who viewed her more than just a sex icon. The song ends with the chorus, and John emphasising how he would have liked to have known her.
Release Date: 5th October 1973
Songwriter/s: Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
Record Label/s: Philips, Congress, DJM, Uni, Paramount, MCA, Geffen, Rocket, Island, Mercury, Island Def Jam