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Celebrity Elegy

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Elton John performing "Candle in the Wind", dedicated first to Marilyn Monroe (pictured), and then Princess Diana.

Jimi gave us rainbows
And Janis took a piece of our hearts
And Otis brought us all to the dock of a bay
Sing a song to light my fire
Remember Jim that way
They've all found another place, another place to play
The Righteous Brothers, "Rock 'n' Roll Heaven"

A song or poem mourning the death—and often celebrating the accomplishments—of a deceased celebrity. The person often died under tragic circumstances, including murder, drug overdose, car/plane accident, or an incurable disease. The elegy may portray the person as Too Good for This Sinful Earth.

To qualify, the person must be well-known beyond their family and friends. They must be famous enough, either in-universe or in Real Life, that people knew of them before the elegy was written.

Sub-Trope of a Grief Song and In Memoriam. Compare to a Biopic, which is a movie or play about a celebrity (though they could be either living and deceased when the movie was made), and an Epic Poem, which may celebrate deceased celebrities (like Achilles and Hector in The Iliad) but is much longer than a typical poem or song.



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    Live-Action TV 


  • "Death of the Poet" was Mikhail Lermontov's reaction to the death of his idol Alexander Pushkin in a duel. In it, Lermontov emotionally decried the Russian high society that he believed had manipulated Pushkin into reckless challenges and threatened them with divine retribution. Although the poem wasn't properly published until after Lermontov's own death (in a duel), it was enough to send him into exile. It also, coincidentally, put the young poet on the map as a rising star of Russian literature.
  • Walt Whitman wrote "O Captain! My Captain!" and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" to mourn the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

    Religion and Mythology 

    Western Animation 

Video Example(s):


Parks & Rec- Bye Bye Li'l Sebastian

Andy writes a song eulogizing Pawnee's greatest celebrity, Li'l Sebastian.

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