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Tuesday, October 20, 1998 Published at 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK


Sir George hopes Candle score hits high notes

Sir George Martin: Donating Candle In The Wind score and its BPI award

The score for the world's best-selling single, Candle In The Wind '97, is to be auctioned for charity in New York in December.

Sotheby's is putting a price tag of around $100,000 - about £60,000 - on Sir George Martin's score for Sir Elton John's song, re-written for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Proceeds from the sale will go to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, the BRIT Trust, which helps young people get careers in the music industry, and the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Receives award on Friday

[ image: Sir Elton John performing at Diana's funeral]
Sir Elton John performing at Diana's funeral
Former Beatles producer Sir George, who will receive the annual Music Industry Trust award on Friday for his services to UK music, donated the score to coincide with the award.

Organiser David Munns said: "This year's dinner honours a giant of the music industry whose career spanning five decades has touched and moved so many. It is typical of the man that, on an occasion where he is being honoured, he prefers to contribute help to others.

"His donation of the Candle In The Wind '97 score will raise thousands of pounds for music-related charities and we thank him for his generosity."

About 1,000 guests are expected to attend the dinner which is being held at Grosvenor House in London.

Recorded in a hurry

[ image: Diana, Princess of Wales: Candle In The Wind quickly became a focus for grief]
Diana, Princess of Wales: Candle In The Wind quickly became a focus for grief
The 72-year-old "fifth Beatle" became involved in the project after Sir Elton performed the song at Westminster Abbey for Diana's funeral.

"We met in the studio at 1pm knowing we had to work fast. I had no preconcieved ideas about the arrangement, so I took the precaution of booking a string quartet and a couple of woodwind for the late afternoon.

"I set about writing hastily a score for the musicians. It was the fastest bit of writing I have ever done on a day I will always remember," he recalled.

The song became the 30th number one single on which Sir George had worked - and became the best selling single ever in little over a month.

Sold 33 million copies

[ image: Bernie Taupin's lyrics have already been sold]
Bernie Taupin's lyrics have already been sold
It sold 33 million copies - raising £20m for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

Also included in the New York auction will be the special sales award the British Phonographic Institute gave Sir George to recognise his record-breaking sales.

He has now retired from the music industry, although he still runs his own recording complex, Air Studios, in London.

The original lyrics for the song, written by Sir Elton and his lyricist Bernie Taupin, were sold for $442,500 - nearly £280,000 - to a businessman in Los Angeles in February.

The song was a rewritten version of Candle In The Wind, Sir Elton's tribute to Marilyn Monroe. It took Mr Taupin just 90 minutes to complete the lyrics.

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