Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Mistletoe and Wine (1988)

Cliff Richard,Mistletoe & Wine,UK,Deleted,7
Arh, yes. Where would Christmas be without the proverbial Number One from Cliff Richard?
Written by Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart and Keith Strachan, it was originally performed as part of the musical Scraps (later retitled The Little Matchgirl; the musical was based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, but relocated to the streets of Victorian London) at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, London in 1976. (It is often mistakenly believed that it was first performed by Twiggy in the TV version, but this was made for HTV some ten years later.) As written, "Mistletoe and Wine" had a different meaning to that for which it came to be known. The writers wanted a song that sounded like a Christmas carol for the scene in the musical where the little matchgirl is kicked out into the snow. Well-to-do carol singers perform the song in the play, though they are actually indifferent to the fate of the little matchgirl, who is starving to death in the same street.
Cliff Richard,Mistletoe & Wine - Japanese Radio Only,Japan,Promo,Deleted,7

Cliff Richard liked the song but wanted to change the lyrics to reflect a more religious theme, to which the writers agreed. Cliff's 99th single, it became his 12th UK number one single, spending four weeks at the top in December 1988 - selling 750,000 copies in the process. It was the best-selling single of 1988 in the UK.

It was also used in a British Public Information film about drink driving, with the intention of scaring motorists. In December 2007 the single entered at number 68 on the UK Singles chart by virtue of downloads.

Preceded by
"First Time" by Robin Beck
UK Number One Single
(by Cliff Richard)

4 December 1988 - 1 January 1989
Succeeded by
"Especially For You" by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue

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