Bernie Taupin Talks Rewriting Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ and More

“It’s interesting because I very much did that remake literally in about five or 10 minutes,” Taupin said

Matt Simeone
September 13, 2023

Bernie Taupin, the legendary lyricist behind some of Elton John’s greatest hits, recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Andy Cohen during his SiriusXM show, Andy Cohen Live, on the Radio Andy channel. During the interview, the GRAMMY winner opened up about rewriting the iconic Elton John song “Candle in the Wind” in 1997. He also discussed his surprise at the song taking on a new life after Lady Diana’s passing and how he could probably not recite the lyrics to it today if he tried.

Listen to Bernie Taupin’s full interview on the SiriusXM App

“It’s interesting because I very much did that remake literally in about five or 10 minutes,” Taupin said. “It took no time at all. And if you asked me to this day to recite the lyrics, I wouldn’t be able to remember a word of it.”

During the interview, Taupin also touched on story behind the lesser-known gem “Someone Saved Me Tonight.”

Elton John and Bernie Taupin: The Making of “Candle in the Wind”

One of the highlights of the interview was Taupin’s discussion of “Candle in the Wind.” Originally written as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, the song would go on to become a poignant farewell to another cultural icon, Princess Diana. Taupin explained that the initial inspiration for the song came from a profound fascination with Marilyn Monroe’s tragic life, and how it mirrored the way society often treats its idols.

Taupin described how the lyrics of “Candle in the Wind” evolved over time, reflecting not only the tragedy of Marilyn Monroe but also the universal fragility of human existence. When Princess Diana passed away in 1997, he and Elton John decided to adapt the song to pay tribute to her, resulting in the iconic version that touched the hearts of millions worldwide.

The interview shed light on the emotional process of writing such a heartfelt tribute. Taupin emphasized that the song’s universal themes of vulnerability and the fleeting nature of fame allowed it to resonate deeply with audiences, regardless of the specific individual it was written for. “Candle in the Wind” serves as a poignant reminder of the transient nature of life and fame, a theme that remains timeless.

“Someone Saved Me Tonight”

While “Candle in the Wind” may be one of Taupin and John’s most famous collaborations, the interview also brought to light the touching story behind “Someone Saved Me Tonight.” Although not as widely recognized as some of their other works, the song holds a special place in the hearts of fans who appreciate its depth and emotion.

In the interview, Taupin revealed that “Someone Saved Me Tonight” was inspired by his own personal struggles and the transformative power of love and friendship. He explained, “This song is deeply personal to me. It’s about hitting rock bottom and finding salvation in the most unexpected of places.” Taupin went on to describe how he had faced a period of personal turmoil and how a dear friend’s unwavering support had pulled him through the darkest days of his life.

The song’s lyrics convey a powerful message of hope and redemption, making it a hidden gem in the vast catalog of Taupin and John’s collaborations. “Someone Saved Me Tonight” serves as a testament to the strength of human connections and the ability of music to heal and uplift.