In the early days of rock ‘n roll, while the kids on my side of the Atlantic were watching Elvis Presley’s swaying hips, kids in the U.K. were growing up on the pop music of Cliff Richard. Years later, at a Billy Graham crusade, Cliff would reveal his Christian commitment.
Cliff’s Christmas songs are a staple on British radio, and in deference to people who don’t have high-speed internet; rather than embed the YouTube vids, I’ve linked them all here for your enjoyment along with the year of release, and highest chart position.
- Little Town – 1982 #11 – This was the first Christmas song I heard Cliff do, and now when people talk about “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” this is the tune that first pops into my brain.
- Mistletoe and Wine – 1988 # 1 – “Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, children singing Christian rhyme.” Not sure what ‘Christian rhyme’ truly means, or how the Baptists in the U.K. dealt with the whole wine thing. Ends with a boy soprano solo.
- Whenever God Shines His Light – 1989 #20 – A duet with Van Morrison.
- Savior’s Day – 1990 # 1 – It actually took YouTube for me to hear this one the first time. Be sure to catch the kid towards the end of vid on Cliff’s right; definitely a Cliff Richard wannabe. With some modifications, this song can be used year round.
- We Should Be Together – 1991 #10 – You’ll notice that many of the YouTube vids were placed by the same contributor, who ignores this one, as it lacks a Christian theme. I left the link out because the YouTube version isn’t a true music video.
- Millenium Prayer – 1999 # 1 – Cliff appropriately ends the millenium with the Lord’s Prayer lyrics sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne
- Santa’s List – 2003 # 6 – Another one I heard for the first time on YouTube. It’s too bad that North American is so quick to dismiss what’s happening across the pond.
- 21st Century Christmas – 2006 # 2 – Somehow he manages to mix Christian sentiment and Santa Claus into this song which also highlights every form of recent technology out there. (Note to Americans: mobile = cell phone.)
- Good on the Sally Army – Not a Christmas song, but it’s hard to think Christmas without thinking of the Salvation Army. This classic from the Small Corners album of all Christian songs doesn’t have a true music video, but you can link to YouTube audio here.
I really respect Cliff for the stand he’s taken as a Christian in the entertainment business.