Meaning of “Sacrifice” by Elton John

Sacrifice is a song by legendary English singer and songwriter Elton John. The song has lyrics that deal with the demise of a marriage, where the marriage’s demise is “no sacrifice”. Speaking with the American music-trade magazine Music Connection, the song’s co-writer Bernie Taupin said the song dealt with the “rigors” of love between two adults in a romantic relationship.

According to John, the song was inspired by the hit song Do Right Woman, Do Right Man by American singer Aretha Franklin.

Sacrifice lyrics

Facts about “Sacrifice”

  • The song was written by Elton John and his longtime songwriting partner and friend Bernie Taupin. The lyrics and music were written by Taupin and John respectively.
  • Sacrifice was produced by English record producer Chris Thomas. In addition to John, Thomas has worked with other musical icons such as The Beatles, Queen, INXS and Pete Townshend.
  • John once called Sacrifice as a Percy Sledge song. For those who don’t know Percy Sledge, he was an American soul and R&B singer who is best remembered for his smash hit song When a Man Loves a Woman.
  • Former Canadian model Yasmeen Ghauri and American rock musician Chris Isaak played the married couple who go their separate ways in the song’s music video.
  • Sacrifice was released twice, the first release occurred in October 1989 and the second in May 1990.
  • Sacrifice peaked at number 18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, thereby making it the first single of Elton John’s career to top the UK Singles Chart.

Frequently Asked Questions about “Sacrifice”

Q: Has Sacrifice won a Grammy Award?

A: Despite being one of Elton John’s most successful singles, the song never won a Grammy.

Q: Who directed the song’s music video?

A: It was directed by Armenian-American film and music video director Alek Keshishian.

Q: Which Elton John album features Sacrifice?

A: The song is from John’s 1989 22nd studio album titled Sleeping with the Past.

Q: Who have sampled or covered Sacrifice?

A: In 1991, Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor recorded a cover version of Sacrifice. Aside O’Connor, other artists who have covered the song include the German band Gregorian, the American indie pop music duo Karmina and the famous French pianist Richard Clayderman.

Q: Are there any controversies or copyright issues surrounding this song?

A: No.


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