My main association with this song is from an episode of the "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" spin-off "Angel."
Harmony, a shallow and ditzy blonde girl who has become a shallow and ditzy blonde vampire, is at a karaoke bar, trying to decide on a song to sing:
Harmony: Now what do you think: "Candle in the Wind," or the Princess Diana "Candle in the Wind?"
Cordelia: Go nuts. Do 'em both.
Exactly why Elton John couldn't have just written a new song for Princess Diana, as opposed to making Marilyn share, I'm not sure. I mean, writing songs is more or less his job: he should be able to handle it. It wouldn't have had to be all that good. But I suppose famous young blonde chicks don't keel over every day, and you have to strike while the iron is hot, or something. And blurring the line between the two celebrities makes it even less about the character of the actual person who's died, and more about the feeling that someone pretty is gone and therefore you should be sad.
I dunno. In any case, the song is still slightly defective. You're pretty much limited to women, and more to the point, women who have gone from lower-middle class to upper class very rapidly. If I were Sir Elton, I'd write a sad generic eulogy that could work for anybody from Li'l Kim to Ken Lay, and then wait for the next celebrity to go. You know Dick Cheney's ticker only has just so many more beats left in it: you wouldn't have to wait long.
But then, I'm kind of a cynical bitch. I'm sure Sir Elton's motives were pure as the driven in both cases, and in no way related to maintaining his flagging celebrity in the face of impending bankruptcy.
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Goodbye, Jean. Norm
never knew you, although in him, all
you had was the tolerance to maintain yourself.
Whereas those around you crawled:
they crawled on the wood crafts.
His brain whispered, and it
fixed the squirrel wheel. And that, to him,
that did change your name.
That looks like me. You lived it, your life,
as a candle in the wind
that knew never to cling. In whom,
and when, inside the system of rain?
I have wanted to know.
A young boy was only right to me:
his candle burns long.
Its legend was always made before.
The solitude was resistant:
you always played more resistant than paper.
Hollywood created a superstar,
and the pain was the price you even paid
when you died.
Oh, the press still persecuted:
the papers had to say "all
was nude to him." Were Marilyn found in that, . . .
Goodbye, Jean. Norm,
the young man in the 22nd row,
considers himself like something more sexual than that. More like, hardly of
our Marilyn Monroe than . . . .