Bernie Taupin wrote the UK's biggest-selling single of all time in just 30 minutes.
The 73-year-old songwriter and his friend and collaborator Sir Elton John had discussed the idea of writing a new track to honour the late Princess Diana after her death in a car crash in August 1997, but because they didn't have much time, they instead opted to rework 'Candle in the Wind' - their 1974 tribute to Marilyn Monroe - and it didn't take long for Bernie to come up with new lyrics.
In an extract from his upcoming autobiography 'Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton And Me' obtained by the Daily Mail newspaper, Bernie wrote: "Diana’s funeral was planned for the first week of September, and prior to this I received a call from Elton. As is the way with all things that take place when tragic circumstances are involved, recollections can vary.
"I don’t recall the Richard Branson equation Elton talks about in his autobiography: if he did make the suggestion for a rewrite of 'Candle In The Wind', it wasn’t discussed in our phone call.
"As I remember it, we initially mulled over the possibility of a new song, but given the speed with which something needed to be done, we discarded the idea in favour of reworking the existing lyric.
"I went straight to work, and within half an hour I’d completed what would become 'Candle In The Wind 1997', or, as it’s better known, 'England’s Rose'."
While the track went on to sell over 33 million copies, raising $38 million for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and breaking chart records, Bernie can't remember "a word" of the song.
He admitted: "If you put a gun to my head right now and threatened to kill me if I didn’t recite the lyric, I’d be a dead man. I don’t remember a word of it."
The writer - who never met Diana - recalled feeling "immensely proud" of Elton as he watched TV footage of him performing the song at the princess' funeral.
He wrote: "I shed a tear for the wrong reasons, my focus solely on my friend’s burden.
"I can only imagine how harrowing it must have been to perform at the centre of this sentimental tsunami not only carrying his own grief, but simply holding himself together.
"Ultimately, he was poised, impassioned and magnificent, and I was immensely proud of him."