‘Candle in the Wind’- a ‘Death Tribute Song’ played at a ‘Wedding Reception’?

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‘Candle in the Wind’- a ‘Death Tribute Song’ played at a ‘Wedding Reception’?

Mangaluru: Imagine an event management company making the biggest blunder, by requesting the sound guy to play the “Candle in the Wind” by British Singer Elton John- a song which is usually played at a funeral, paying tribute to the departed soul. This song was sung by Elton John during the Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997- and that single became the second biggest selling of all time with 33 million sold worldwide after Elton John performed at Lady Diana’s funeral.

But here is a story, which is kind of funny, for the fact that the “Candle in the Wind” was played at a wedding reception recently at an open-air ground in Mangaluru. Just like the Cliff Richard’s song “Congratulations” is played by during the child’s “Communion” ceremony, without knowing the exact lyrics, which goes like this: “Congratulations And celebrations; When I tell everyone that you’re in love, With me. Congratulations And jubilation’s, I want the world to know I’m happy as can be.”. This song is appropriate for a wedding reception, and not for a Communion celebration. Just because the word “Congratulations” is in the song, you just don’t play it at any function not suitable for the song lyrics. Even many a times this song is even played at the Christening celebration?

Similar thing happened at a wedding reception, just because a candle was placed on each table at the reception, and that the function was held at a location close to the sea, and the wind was blowing, the event management guy had picked “Candle in the Wind” for the couple for a slow dance along with their family members and relatives during the first dance of the night. I was surprised to note that who would pick a death tribute song for a couple’s romantic dance during a wedding reception. I guess shit happens? And the best part was that everyone danced till the end of the song, not knowing the lyrics of the song. So whom to blame for this stupidest blunder-of course, the event management guy?

And during the fellowship spree, I approached the sound guy and asked him who made him to play that song, and his reply was the event management guy. And when I told him that the song is usually played during a funeral, he was simply taken back and said, “Oh Devare”? (Oh my God?). I only hope my friends, the newly married couple will delete the dance art from the video recording, in order not to create more embarrassment later when they watch their wedding reception video in the company of the relatives or friends. When I informed the event management guy, he realized his mistake and felt very bad. Oh well- all we can say “Mistakes do happen”?

And for a little history of the Song, 21 years ago, Elton John caused millions to weep as he sang a reworked version of Candle in the Wind in an emotional farewell to Princess Diana. The song is the second biggest single of all time after 33 million copies were sold but what is the story behind the lyrics? Elton John performed “Candle in the Wind” for Princess Diana at her funeral in 1997. What is Candle in the Wind? Elton John originally recorded the single in 1973 in honour of Marilyn Monroe who had died 11 years earlier.

Elton John – Candle In The Wind (Lyrics) – YouTube

After his close friend Diana died in a Paris car crash in 1997, Elton teamed up with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin asking him to revise the lyrics to honour the Princess. It was recorded at Townhouse Studios in West London and re-released as Candle in the Wind 1997. Elton has only ever performed the single once – at Princess Di’s Westminster Abbey funeral – and instead uses the original version at concerts. He has repeatedly turned down requests to perform the tribute again and said he never would unless asked by Princes William and Harry. The single became the fastest-selling single in the UK, selling 658,000 copies on its first day of release, and over 1.5 million in its first week.

How were the lyrics changed? The opening lines of the 1973 version, “Goodbye Norma Jeane, though I never knew you at all,” were adapted to “Goodbye England’s rose, may you ever grow in our hearts.” All the lyrics were changed to reflect the Princess’ life following her tragic death. In the original, the lyrics reflected Marilyn Monroe’s turbulent life, which was cut short when she was aged just 36. But Candle in the Wind was kept as the title after Taupin was inspired by the phrase when he heard someone use it to describe Janis Joplin, who died of a heroin overdose in 1970.

How did Elton John end up performing at the funeral? Elton was plunged into a period of shock after Diana was killed in the crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Just one month before, he had been comforted by the princess at the funeral for close friend, Italian designer Gianni Versace. Diana and Elton had been friends since 1981 when he performed at Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle and received a thank-you letter from the then 19-year-old Diana. After her death, he was asked by the family to write a tribute to Diana, which he performed at her funeral on September 6, 1997, at Westminster Abbey. The singer revealed that playing Candle in the Wind at her funeral was “surreal”.


Goodbye England’s rose;
may you ever grow in our hearts.
You were the grace that placed itself
where lives were torn apart.
You called out to our country,
and you whispered to those in pain.
Now you belong to heaven,
and the stars spell out your name.

And it seems to me you lived your life
like a candle in the wind:
never fading with the sunset
when the rain set in.
And your footsteps will always fall here,
among England’s greenest hills;
your candle’s burned out long before
your legend ever will.

Loveliness we’ve lost;
these empty days without your smile.
This torch we’ll always carry
for our nation’s golden child.
And even though we try,
the truth brings us to tears;
all our words cannot express
the joy you brought us through the years.

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.

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