Goodbye England's Rose - Candle in the Wind, 1997
One of the most memorable eulogies in recent history was Sir Elton John's tribute to Diana, the Princess of Wales. During her funeral, on September 6, 1997, Elton John sang "Candle in the Wind", which he and writer Bernie Taupin had rewritten in honor of the late Princess. The touching and poignant rendition of the song was Sir Elton's way of expressing grief at the tragic death of his good friend.
Diana's funeral was not the usual stuffy British funeral. It was a heartfelt goodbye to the Princess, with prayers, readings, songs and music. Among those who paid their respects to Diana and who said their prayers for her were the Archbishop of Canterbury, Diana's brother Earl Spencer who said the eulogy, Diana's sisters, the Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair and the Abbey choir.
Goodbye England's rose;
"Candle in the Wind" was not the only piece of music to be played or sung
during the funeral, but it was the only song included that was written in her
memory. The song was sung by the composer himself, a close friend of the late
Princess, in a heartrending way that struck a chord of sympathy and grief within
all those who heard the song. The song also offered some measure of comfort to
the loved ones she left behind. Those who never met Diana and heard Sir Elton
sing would have felt for those who knew Diana and would be most affected by her
Diana's sons are preparing a concert in memory of their mother on what would have been her 46th birthday this year, 10 years after her death. Prince William and Prince Harry intend this concert to be a celebration of the life of the late Princess of Wales. While Sir Elton John has been confirmed to be one of the performers, it remains to be seen if he will sing the song he last sung during Diana's funeral.
When Sir Elton performed in Westminster Abbey, it was more moving than the speeches since music appeals to the emotions and not to the intellect. At a funeral, emotions hold sway. A song is more memorable than any speech, since people would sing a song over and over again, but would not make the same speech somebody else gave. Every time somebody sings or plays this song, it is, in part, a way of remembering Diana. However history might portray Diana, she will always be associated with this song.
Watch Video: Princess Diana Funeral - Elton John "Goodbye England's Rose"