"Sacrifice" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
It's a human sign
When things go wrong
When the scent of her lingers
And temptation's 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 better, baby
Just passing through

And it's no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It's two hearts living
In two separate worlds
But it's no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It's no sacrifice at all

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

We lose direction
No stone unturned
No tears to damn you
When jealousy burns

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things look better, baby
Just passing through

And it's no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It's two hearts living
In two separate worlds
But it's no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It's no sacrifice at all

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things look better, baby
Just passing through

And it's no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It's two hearts living
In two separate worlds
But it's no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It's no sacrifice at all

No sacrifice at all
No sacrifice at all
No sacrifice at all
No sacrifice at all


Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by icequeentt

"Sacrifice" as written by Elton John Bernie Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sacrifice song meanings
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41 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about a "sacrifice" that a married couple "think" they are making, by separating/divorcing, - perhaps because of infidelity, or they dont agree anymore, or things are not the same anymore between them. By being away from eachother, there would be no more fights or arguments, but actually the deep rooted feeling inside the two of them, is LONELINESS (in the video you can see, the husband sleeping hugging a pillow, and dancing with his little girl, and you can see the wife sitting in an armchair reading old love letters. Is this really a sacrifice?? Or just pride, misunderstandings between 2 hearts... the one who bears this sacrifice is the child, eventually....
    planetvalerinaon September 18, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about being tempted to have an affair - 'when the scent of her lingers and temptation's strong' and 'into the boundary of each married man sweet deceit comes calling.' The sacrifice is the affair and what could have happened. I think he is saying that it really isn't a sacrifice because it would be very damaging and it is better left- 'some thing looking better just passing through.'
    In reality to forego the affair is no sacrifice because they are two people (two hearts) living in seperate worlds, like many other people.
    aleosaon February 16, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwell said Oracle. I also interpret this song as a lack of commitment. it doesn't necessarily mean that there’s an affair going on. love is lost because love means you have to sacrifice your ego for the other person.
    revolcisumon November 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment'I think it may be silly I didn't get it, but what actually is that 'simple word'?

    Possibly the word is itself, sacrifice? Perhaps throwing away everything you own, everything that makes you happy and everything you've searched for and gained isn't even a sacrifice if you do it in an attempt to get something you desire, even if its something you shouldn't rightly have.. thats my thoughts
    _-MaSSiMo-_on May 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLet's start by looking at the name of the Album: Sleeping with the past. This song is about a man who is married, who happens upon his past love/old flame. Now the scent of her lingers (memories fill him). He is tempted to do something about his feelings, but is afraid of stepping outside the boundaries of his marriage and falling for the temptation/sweetness of the forbidden fruit.

    So he has to sacrifice his feelings to do the right thing. Then he explores what could happen if he went ahead -

    This song is quite similar in the emotions it dredges up to "Some old lang syne" by Dan Fogelberg.

    O'Connor's rendition is even more moving, especially the end when she repeats - I gave my heart - I feel she is talking about young love, when one really gives their heart away........

    This is what I think as I'm going through something similar myself.

    I'm single, but she is married now.
    just_some_guyon December 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have this possible explanation which concurs with some below. This song entails an actual married couple. Some unexplained difficulty which he encounters - perhaps usual problems in marriage - made him recall a past but still vivid love that in its moment touched him by hurting quite much, enough to make him hitherto cold and not easily to crack. Then he thinks of himself - he tries to convince himself - to be sufficiently strong to avoid temptation, enough to pass her by without being actually attracted to her (whether if this attraction is provoked by her or not); actually, he attributes this current coldness to her, it was her who made him cold somehow; therefore he thinks that avoiding her does not really entail a sacrifice, in fact, he thinks, how could it be a sacrifice to avoid her if in general terms both of them are not related to anything (here again, he tries to convince himself that she no longer remains in him as a strong feeling). However - and this is the human sign- despite the strong he tries to think of himself, despite the cold he pretends to be, the truth is that her presence is still strong, and suddenly it is too strong to keep it hide in front of his wife. Then, wife and husband face struggle because she discovers ("after the fact" entails a meaning of discovery) that he has striven to keep this foreign feeling unclosed: she discovers that he is in fact a prisoner of this prior but remaining love (this is the final act, the crude reality his condition of being still trapped of this prior love). After this recognition, no longer unclosed - no stone unturned - relationship in in trouble, and, it does not matter how many tears he bursts, she will not be moved, because the jealousy she feels now is just too strong to easily vanish. And there is nothing she or he could have done to avoid it. this reveals the humanity of the sign of being defeated by prior but not buried loves.
    VICHINon April 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCorrection to lyrics and interpretation by Diverbuoy:



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

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

    Cold cold heart
    HARDENED by you
    Some things look(ing) better baby
    Just passing through


    And it's no sacrifice
    Just a simple word
    It's two hearts living
    In two separate worlds


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


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


    We lose direction
    No stone unturned
    No tears to damn you
    When jealousy burns
    diverbuoyon June 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIt's a human sign
    When things go wrong = Things have gone wrong. It's human nature.

    When the scent of her lingers
    And temptation's strong = He is tempted to forgive her.

    Into the boundary
    of each married man = But no married man can acept that his wife is unfaithful.

    Sweet deceit comes calling
    and negativity lands = She has been unfaithful.

    Cold cold heart
    hardened by you = His heart is cold.

    Some things look better, baby
    just passing through = He knows she regrets it and that it was not worth it.

    But

    Divorce / goodbye is not a sacrifice, just a simple word. He has no feelings for her anymore. He ends it.



    Mutual misunderstanding
    After the FIGHT = They fight

    Sensitivity builds a prison
    In the final act = They isolate themselves from eachother

    We lose direction
    No stone unturned = They cant make it work

    No tears to damn you = He does not cry, even though
    When jealousy burns = Jealousy burns

    Cold cold heart
    hardened by you = His heart is cold.

    Some things look better, baby
    just passing through = He knows she regrets it and that it was not worth it, but there is nothing left to do now.

    Divorce is not a sacrifice, just a simple word.

    They are two hearts living
    In two separate worlds

    It's no scarifice at all.
    morten1015on August 04, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove the harmony of the choon, its very relaxing. Is there an instrumental version out there?
    jjb_ukon May 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSinead O'connor did a beautiful rendition to this song on a tribute cd to Elton. I think the CD is called Two Rooms.
    Jld56on October 10, 2004   Link

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