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Tuesday, May 4, 1999 Published at 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK


Diana's song score for sale

Candle in the Wind was originally a tribute to Marilyn Monroe

The score for Sir Elton John's tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales - Candle In The Wind `97 - is to be auctioned, with the money raised going to charity.

The BBC's Emma Simpson talks to Sir George Martin about the sale
The sale is the idea of former Beatles record producer Sir George Martin and was announced last October.

He got permission to sell the score and the track's British record industry award from Sir Elton - who performed the song at Diana's funeral - and songwriter Bernie Taupin, who co-wrote the original song with Sir Elton and rewrote the lyrics for the funeral.

The hand-notated instrumental score and the award marking 33 million sales of the track are together set to fetch up to £60,000 at Sotheby's sale on 21 May.

The handwritten lyrics to the song were auctioned in February last year. They were bought by US businessman Bob Wilson for $442,500 and donated to the Los Angeles Children's Hospital.

[ image: The lyics to Candle in the Wind '97 were auctioned last year]
The lyics to Candle in the Wind '97 were auctioned last year
The record sales of the historic track, which was produced by Sir George, raised more than £20m for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

The original Candle In The Wind song was Sir Elton's tribute to screen legend Marilyn Monroe, who died in 1962. The rewritten version took Mr Taupin just 90 minutes to complete.

Sir George said: "I don't think anybody will forget that terrible week when Princess Diana died.

"It's etched in the memories of everyone and the funeral on the Saturday was something that I will never forget.

"It was a day of mourning and a day of activity for us. Elton was superb in the studio as he always is, very quick and very efficient, despite the emotion of the day."

Sir George retired last year, after a career spanning four decades. Candle In The Wind 1997 was his 30th number one single - the highest number of any record producer.

The 10-page score includes individual sections written for a string quartet and two woodwind players, while the disc was presented by the British Phonographic Industry.

"They are both unique," Sir George said. "Whether it's good or bad music, they're the only things in the world like this that commemorate that day, and are a piece of English history."

The charities that will benefit are the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre, Royal National Institute for the Blind, and the Brit Trust, the record industry's own charity.

Sir George hopes the items will stay in his home country - but he is not optimistic.

"I'd like them to stay in England, but I think they'll probably go to America or Japan," he said.

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