Goodbye England’s Rose

Goodbye England’s Rose, by Bernie Taupin and Elton John

The lyrics to this song, a tribute to Princess Di at her funeral (in 1997), remind me of the saying of Jesus: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

In this song, Princess Diana is compared to the “rose of England” who grows in the heart of the people. The rose is also the grace that is placed “where lives are torn apart,” probably a reference to Diana’s activism on behalf of abused and hurt people (e.g., in working with AIDS patients in the 1980s).  Princess Diana had the courage and the caring, as a member of the royal family, to stand with the afflicted, sharing her life, her stature, and her hope.

The rose is the fragrance of love and compassion, which grows in the midst of suffering. The rose is also the memory, in the hearts of people who love her, of a legend and hero. Grace is the fragrance of the rose, which heals and uplifts lives that are torn apart.

The lyrics go on to say: “And you whispered to those in pain/Now you belong to heaven/And the stars spell out your name.”

By exuding the fragrance of compassion to people who are torn apart, the rose (or grace) soothes the soul. The afflicted are welcomed into heaven, a place of joy and well-being, thanks to this grace. Even the stars give honor to those in heaven and to the one who helps them to get there.

This tribute to Princess Di illustrates self-sacrificing love: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  Jesus is himself regarded as royalty, as the divine king. By laying down his life for his friends, Jesus stands with those who are hurt, abused, alienated, or in other ways, suffering.

Jesus says (improvising) in effect, “I give my life since Life is abundant. I give my stature so that you who feel unworthy will be raised up. Life can never be killed and lost. Life revives the sick and the suffering. Now, you are enrolled in heaven.”

SEE BELOW FOR SONG RECORDING AND LYRICS.

ARTIST: Elton John
TITLE: Goodbye England’s Rose
Lyrics and Chords

Goodbye England’s rose
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart

You called out to our country
And you whispered to those in pain
Now you belong to heaven
And the stars spell out your name

{Refrain}
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset when the rain set in
And your footsteps will always fall here
Along England’s greenest hills
Your candle’s burned out long before
Your legend ever will

Loveliness we’ve lost
These empty days without your smile
This torch we’ll always carry
For our nation’s golden child

And even though we try
The truth brings us to tears
All our words cannot express
The joy you brought us through the years

{Refrain}

Goodbye England’s rose
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart

Goodbye England’s rose
From a country lost without your soul
Who’ll miss the wings of your compassion
More than you’ll ever know

{Refrain}

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Farkhunda: Martyr from Afghanistan : Crucifixion

In 2015 Farkhunda, a young woman of Afghanistan, was savagely beaten and put to death by a mob. Her alleged crime was that she had burnt the Qur’an: a false accusation. Jesus Christ was crucified and put to death on grounds of religious blasphemy.

Wherever  spiritual freedom is assaulted and crimes are committed against the innocent — on  grounds of religious absolutism — Jesus is crucified, once again. Here’s an article about Farkhunda:

And another:

Martyred in Afghanistan

In the Christian gospel, the resurrection signifies the victory of life — and justice — over against their opposites (death and injustice). Let’s learn from Farkhunda’s martyrdom and support the cause of justice in Afghanistan and around the world.

Here’s one way to give: Women for Women

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