What does Sacrifice mean?

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Elton John: Sacrifice Meaning

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Song Released: 1989


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Sacrifice Lyrics

Its a human sign
When things go wrong
When the scent of her lingers
And temptations strong

Into the boundary
Of each married man
Sweet deceit comes calling
And negativity lands

Cold cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things look...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Sep 26th, 2017 9:00pm report


    As I understand it, as someone who has known this song inside out for years: The narrator's relationship with his partner is breaking down. He realises this when he becomes attracted to someone else, as he wouldn't be tempted if his relationship with his partner was a good one. Hence, "It's a human sign/When things go wrong/When the scent of her lingers/And temptation strong."
    He feels he must act upon this temptation ("Sweet deceit comes calling") but when he does, his partner finds out and rows break out ("And negativity lands"). As their relationship was already rocky, he had become cynical, ("Cold, cold heart/Hard done by you"), so he doesn't feel any sorrow in cheating. As he puts it, compared to their relationship, "Some things look better" and he intends to move on as he is "just passing through".
    As this relationship had got so bad, giving it up is "no sacrifice". Already, he realises, they are "two hearts living in two separate worlds." So it's not as if they are together anymore in any real sense. Like a lot of couples towards the end, they are living separate lives while just happening to live in the same house. For this reason, ending it, as he reiterates, is "no sacrifice at all."
    After the arguments, the couple do not talk anymore and this lack of communication leads to confusion as to what they both really think. "Mutual misunderstanding/After the fact").
    The woman, it seems, does not want to hear from him: she is too heartbroken; she has heard enough. Hence, "Sensitivity builds a prison/ In the final act." "We lose direction" refers to there being no point to their knowing each other anymore. The aim, originally, had been love but that is off the cards now. "No stone unturned," refers to both lovers' analysis of the relationship, trying to figure out where it went wrong. "No tears to damn you/When jealousy burns" refers, I think, refers to her spite in her retaliation. But the narrator has no tears to demonstrate the break down of their relationship which led to his adultery, as he doesn't give a damn anymore. The loss of their relationship, he repeats, was worthless at the end anyway. Losing it, and exchanging it for a new one with someone else, was "no sacrifice at all."



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Aug 27th, 2017 8:47am report


    The meaning of the song is clear. It's in the lyrics. And it explained in Wikipedia. "It's no sacrifice at all, it's just two hearts living in two separate worlds" It's no sacrifice to separate. The sacrifice is in resisting temptation, staying together, keeping the love alive, making it work" But both partners have to be dedicated to this.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Apr 22nd, 2014 4:13am report


    Here is what it might be about:

    It's a human sign
    When things go wrong:
    When the scent of her lingers
    And temptation's strong,

    || It's normal to be tempted by an opportunity
    || outside of a committed relationship.

    Into the boundary
    Of each married man
    Sweet deceit comes calling
    And negativity lands.

    || And when this happens, it's easy to see
    || what's wrong with your primary relationship
    || by comparison to the new opportunity.

    Cold, cold heart,
    Hard done by you...

    || Life with "you" (the singer's spouse) has
    || not been easy, and has made the singer's heart
    || "cold." For a moment, he is blaming his spouse
    || for the temptation of another...

    Some things look better baby,
    Just passing through.

    || But he knows the third person only looks so good
    || because the relationship will be transient.

    And it's no sacrifice,
    Just a simple word.

    || The simple word is "No"; and it is, of course,
    || a sacrifice, though one that must be made.

    It's two hearts living
    In two separate worlds.

    || The spouse will never know or understand what
    || the singer gives up. (Presumably the reverse
    || is true as well.)
    ||
    || Also, the "outsider" and the singer live
    || in two separate worlds, as she (or he)
    || cannot be a part of the life the singer has
    || with his spouse.

    But it's no sacrifice,
    No sacrifice,
    It's no sacrifice at all.

    || The singer can't speak of the sacrifice...
    || all one can say to the person one loves is that
    || fidelity is no sacrifice, even though it's not true.

    Mutual misunderstanding
    After the fact:
    Sensitivity builds a prison
    In the final act.

    || (This one is difficult to explain...)
    ||
    || Being "sensitive" --- being aware that something is
    || going on --- can trap one in a position where it is
    || difficult to do what is best. Some things cannot be
    || discussed or understood, only accepted and forgiven.

    We lose direction,
    No stone unturned.

    || In the process of analyzing every detail and confronting
    || everything that has happened (or might have happened),
    || we forget about what really matters.

    No tears to damn you
    When jealousy burns.

    || (I think here the singer's spouse has become aware
    || of the real or potential affair and will not be
    || consoled by the singer's insistence that he has
    || rejected the possibility and it is "no sacrifice";
    || she undoubtedly understands that he is not without
    || regret.)
    ||
    || Jealousy can blind one to what is best;
    || your tears would tell you what was right
    || if they weren't suppressed by anger.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 21st, 8:30am report


    Its a simple word, if its no sacrifice, its love. Love is selfless, it puts ones’ needs aside snd it gives fully and freely.

    Of course it is scary, because it is a devotion beyond ourselves, beyond our own ways, it is no sacrifice because love forgives.

    Its brings two persons together because it creates life, a child, that both parents love. It sometimes create a prison if we forget the relationship between the parents...

    But its no sacrifice, because love is patient and it is willing to compromise. Marriage or relationships are not always easy, but remember what brought you two together,

    Was it sacrifice?



  5.  

    sorayya1956
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    Jul 17th, 7:12pm report


    The song"Sacrifice" is about rocky marriage ending in divorce due to, misunderstanding,lack of communication, jealousy which leads to infidelity at the end.

    The video,however, I believe is completely irrelevant to the song and portrays a different story line.It's just a promo video to attract shallower audience who don't go through the lyrics.Interpreting the lyrics of the song based on the video can be completely misleading.



  6.  

    farideh32
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    Jul 10th, 7:28pm report


    Such a gorgeous song.I'm surprised many interpret it solely as infidelity.It's such an intelligent lyrics and it can apply to any failed relationship.I personally love the last three verses:

    mutual misunderstanding after the fact,

    sensitivity builds a prison in the final
    act.

    We loses direction.No stone unturned,

    Seems like the couple tried to salvage the relationship,but love was gone and the separation is inevitable.

    The music video,almost follows the lyrics but I believe there is a role reversal in the storyline. The woman decides to leave her husband and also her baby daughter to start a new life.The man is left to raise the daughter alone.The last scene of the video while Elton sings "It's no Sacrifice at all" and the man dances with her little girl sums it up perfectly.Ofcourse that's my interpretation and I can be wrong.But I don't think there is any right or wrong interpretaion for this masterpiece.



  7.  

    nilmirz
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    Jul 8th, 7:09pm report


    The person interpreting the video as the man had affair and the wife put him and her child past behind her because of his betrayal, where exactly in the video it shows the guy had affair? and even it did, what kind of insane mother leaves her child to a cheater That makes her million times worse than a cheater himself..Please read your interpretation before posting it.



  8.  

    sara29019
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    Jul 8th, 7:32pm report


    There is no affair in the video. Just a husband and wife having problems and the wife leaves the husband and her child.At least I did not see any affair.the song is about end of a unhappy relationship not being sacrifice. Not necessarily infidelity.Even though, infidelity can happen at the of any sad relationship.It may suggest,staying in bad relationship for the sake of child, actually hurts her rather than helping her.So, instead of constant fights and blaming games it's better to separate and live in peace and get the join custody of the child.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    May 29th, 5:39pm report


    Actually, if you check The official music video for the song "Sacrifice" on youtube, in the description, it states:starring Supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri and Chris Isaac.

    so, I find it kind of funny that some comments, suggest in the video the man had an affair and his wife couldn't forgive him so she left.That's not what it shows in that video.There is no sign in the video that implies the man was cheating.Actually,If you watch the video you'll see the couple are struggling raising a daughter and looks like the man is poor, they're living in a rundown place. However, she finally leaves both man and daughter and while the man raises their daughter alone, The woman is shown in luxury settings,silk sheets and fancy clothing, The actress who plays the role of the woman is supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri in real life. so it makes more sense if one assume she left her family behind to pursue her career as a model.At the end, it shows she's in elegant clothing in some rich city, while the guy and daughter are still in same poor place and dancing together.The conclusion is>it was no sacrifice for the man to raise his daughter alone.AS Elton sings in final image.and no sacrifice on the womans part



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 21st, 2020 4:38pm report


    Ok, yes you are all right to a degree that's easy enough to figure out. But you're thinking quite small. Elton John knew from a young age that he was gay. When he came out to his mother she harshly said that he basically never be loved and be alone forever. I don't know how long it was after this but he rushed into marriage with a female who was helping in a record of his. He knew it was a mistake of course, going further into drugs and booze until finally after sleeping in separate bedrooms after so long they came to an understanding that it just wouldn't work because they were obviously after different things. Or the same depending how you want to look at it. I believe this song is about that relationship, he was gay she was straight, two separate worlds. But it was written at a time when I don't believe he had officially come out to the world and AIDS was ramping up, not to mention the whole 'gay virus' thing doing it's own damage. And as for the video, people can't handle gay relationships on the streets or in commercials or shows. Making a music video at that time with say representing that exact dilemma. Say a man and woman in a relationship but somehow getting across that he was gay and that's why it wasn't working without being insensitive, trashy or flat out insulting is a fine line. Frankly I watch sense 8 quite frequently because it's beautiful in many ways and I wish more people followed that state of mind



  11.  

    nel
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    Apr 19th, 2020 4:21pm report


    The song is about lack of commitment.to the person,based on the video, suggesting the wife couldn't forgive the man for cheating, so she left him and her child behind,It's just completely nonsense.No mother leaves her child just because her husband was unfaithful.



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 27th, 2020 1:05pm report


    In the song, a man is talking about his deteriorating marriage.
    As he pointed out, things have really gone bad in his marriage that the scent of his partner is gradually and slowly fading away. He can't feel her existence any longer even though they are together. And it is a human sign that when these things happen, any man will begin to look outside and that's when sweet deceit comes calling into the boundary of every married man and negativity towards the relationship will set inn.
    He is saying that his heart has been turned cold and hardened by his partner. Which means he is no longer feeling any emotions for her or no sense of guilt walking the dark road cos the marriage just exists by name sake.
    He is therefore telling his partner that this marriage could not be forever thus, "some things look better just passing through". By those words he means he can't stay in this marriage as long as he could have wanted.
    And opting out is no sacrifice he is making. It's just a simple word "divorce, breakup"
    Cos they are just two hearts leaving in two separate world's.
    According to the second verse, mutual misunderstanding sets inn when he finally discloses the marriage was heading for closure.
    And emotional reaction to that created the distance or space between them:"sensitivity builds a prison"
    And in their final exchanges, they've lost direction. They have destroyed every bit of the relationship and it was beyond fixing.
    He would cry no tears to curse his partner when he gets jealous that she is someone else's.
    Cos his heart is cold and it has been hardened by her.
    So some things look better, just passing through.
    And he is making no sacrifice to save the marriage
    It's just a simple word "breakup/divorce"
    Cos here are two hearts leaving in two separate worlds.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 21st, 2020 1:57pm report


    The person is in denial by saying it was no sacrifice to lose his marriage by having an affair. It was a tremendous sacrifice in reality. Similar to the song I'm not in love by 10cc.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 29th, 2019 10:33pm report


    The boundary are known by most people who have got married there no sacrifice in backing out or saying I do when The coice is strong just being there and letting it go ahead the with no sacrifice surely the could feature the film Mumia mia even thought it didn't there's no sacrifice in kissing some one to be a welcomed into a team by a person who knows the b oundarys being marierd to jade Valentine Blackley so no sacrifice



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 25th, 2019 8:11pm report


    I believe the man had an affair not because he was unhappy with wife and child, but simply because he fell victim to the temptation of another woman. Despite his trying to reason with her, the wife could not get past the betrayal and seems to put both the husband and her daughter behind her. I believe the child plays a central role, in that the man is clearly very attached to the child. In the end, the man is alone, without either his wife or the affair partner, but has decided he must focus on fulfilling his role as father, with the daughter he realizes will always be a constant in his life.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 19th, 2019 7:25am report


    "Sacrifice" is inspired both by the Aretha Franklin song "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" and described as a Percy Sledge song by Elton John[according to whom?]. The song is beloved by both John and Bernie Taupin and deemed a bookend of sorts to their first hit "Your Song". Taupin has said he is surprised he wrote it, and said in an interview, "I think 'Sacrifice' is one of the best songs we've written." The song is not a typical love song, but rather a song about a breakup of a marriage where the loss of the relationship is "no sacrifice".
    -from wikipedia

    Knowing the husband was tempted, weak, gave in to the desires of his flesh. He became one with the woman he had an affair with. The wife was so heartbroken because the husband was unfaithful, dishonest, and desired another woman instead of only her. She felt her husband did not really loved her. Perhaps if they made love she will always remember the time when her husband touched and kissed another woman. I understand why most wives can't forgive their husbands.
    It's up to those married couples if they would stay through thick and thin or they will break up and move forward with their lives.

    I understand because I've seen it when I watched some movies about married couples, read news at the internet.

    -Never been married and never had an affair.



  17.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 19th, 2019 7:21am report


    "Sacrifice" is inspired both by the Aretha Franklin song "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" and described as a Percy Sledge song by Elton John[according to whom?]. The song is beloved by both John and Bernie Taupin and deemed a bookend of sorts to their first hit "Your Song". Taupin has said he is surprised he wrote it, and said in an interview, "I think 'Sacrifice' is one of the best songs we've written." The song is not a typical love song, but rather a song about a breakup of a marriage where the loss of the relationship is "no sacrifice".
    -from wikipedia

    Knowing the husband was tempted, weak, gave in to the desires of his flesh. He became one with the woman he had an affair with. The wife was so heartbroken because the husband was unfaithful, dishonest, and desired another woman instead of only her. She felt her husband did not really loved her. Perhaps if they made love she will always remember the time when her husband touched and kissed another woman. I understand why most wives can't forgive their husbands.
    It's up to those married couples if they would stay through thick and thin or they will break up and move forward with their lives.



  18.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 18th, 2019 7:33pm report


    Reading a lot of the answers interesting. My interpretation is how easy it can be to cheat but also a partner who has cheated and regrets it they both still love each other but don't know how to get it back. A song to me can mean many things to the listener



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