'Candle in the Wind' Diana lyrics head for auction

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The lyrics of some of Elton John’s biggest hits - “Rocket Man,” “I’m Still Standing,” and the Princess Diana funeral version of “Candle in the Wind” - are going up for auction as the British musician’s longtime collaborator clears out his archives.

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Songwriter Bernie Taupin, the man behind more than 40 of John’s hit songs, is selling a collection of his original lyrics, as well as colorfully illustrated versions of songs like “Bennie and the Jets” and “Yellow Brick Road,” Julien’s Auctions said on Monday.

Taupin’s typed and annotated rewritten lyrics of “Candle in The Wind,” which John performed at Princes Diana’s funeral in London in 1997, are expected to fetch about $10,000-$15,000 at the November auction in New York.

The song was originally written in 1973 as an ode to Marilyn Monroe but the 1997 version, dedicated to “England’s Rose,” is the second-biggest selling physical single of all time.

Taupin is also auctioning an original program for Diana’s funeral, along with hand-drawn, illustrated lyrics to songs including “Daniel” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.”

Taupin, who was brought together with John through a British newspaper ad in 1967, said he wanted to share his work with others.

“I hope these items that have shaped my work and fueled my passions will inspire and give as much joy to others as they’ve given to me,” Taupin said in a statement.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Taupin’s decision to sell coincides with John launching his final tour last month, called “Farewell Yellow Brick Road,” that will take the singer around the world for three years.

The auction will take place at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York on Nov. 9.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sandra Maler