Thinking Out Loud

September 14, 2018

Cliff Richard Rises Up

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:45 am

America had Elvis.

The UK had Cliff Richard.

The latter’s appeal there was quite similar to the Presley phenomenon in the United States, and three times Cliff Richard has been featured in this blog, due to the strong Christian message in many of his songs. He’s appeared at Christian events such as Greenbelt over the years.

It’s hard for Americans to imagine a chart-topping singer who manages to maintain a strong Christian testimony, though detractors point to songs like “Devil Woman” (without really studying the lyrics), or his being caught by the paparazzi with various women to illustrate the performer’s “worldliness.”

Then, in the 2000s, he started disappearing off the pop music radar. As a single man who isn’t known for sleeping around, he’s been accused many times of being gay, something that, while he has denied it over the years, the accusation probably cost him much of his Christian fan base. In a 2014 interview he is quoted: “I just didn’t get married. I never felt that it was the right time. I can do the things I want to do. I can go and meet my fans all over the world.”

In another situation, in July he was awarded £210,000 in damages stemming from a BBC investigation of child sex allegations. He was neither arrested nor charged.

A story in The Guardian two weeks ago updates us on the new album: “The album is Richard’s first collection of new songs for 14 years. The title track was written by Terry Britten, who four decades ago co-wrote Richard’s hit Devil Woman, and Graham Lyle. It includes the lyrics: ‘They’re never gonna break me down, they’re never gonna take me down, they know I’m gonna rise up feeling stronger.'” 

The Guardian continues, “The new album was recorded in Miami and includes a duet with Olivia Newton-John on a track called Everybody’s Someone, as well as songs called Gonna Be Alright and That’s What the Night is For.” 

The singer turns 78 next month.

 

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May 15, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Giving Thanks

“For what we are about to receive…”  The human and the dog seem sincere but cats are always overly dramatic. (And why does the cat have a marking that looks like another cat’s tail? Photoshop? No way!)

Time for another link list. Try to have your suggestions in by 6:00 PM Eastern on Mondays. More during the week at Twitter.

Songs with substance: Classic worship

If you check the right hand margin over at Christianity 201, you’ll see that all of the various music resources that have appeared there are listed and linked alphabetically. Take a moment to discover — or re-discover — some worship songs and modern hymns from different genres.

December 7, 2009

Cliff Richard’s 21st Century Christmas

Faithful readers will recognize this as a re-blogged item from last year, but nothing kicks off the Christmas season for me like listening to Cliff Richard signing “21st Century Christmas.”   Don’t know this artist?

In the early days of rock ‘n roll, while the kids on my side of the Atlantic were idolizing Elvis, 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.  (If you click the Wikipedia link in this paragraph, check out the list of awards toward the end of the page.)

Cliff’s Christmas songs are a staple on British radio, and rather than embed the YouTube vids, I’ve linked a few here along with 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, not the one we sing in church.
  • 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.  (If you Google “Cliff Richard Christmas” you’ll find some far worse songs, like the one that spells C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S with a lame attempt at spiritualizing it at the end.  Hey this one was a #1 song in the U.K.)
  • 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.
  • Millennium Prayer – 1999 # 1 – Cliff appropriately ended the millennium with the Lord’s Prayer lyrics sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.   Surprised more American worship bands didn’t pick up on this for the last Sunday of the year.   They still could.
  • 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.)   Your kids might like this.
  • Good on the Sally Army – Not strictly speaking a Christmas song, but it’s hard to think Christmas without thinking of the Salvation Army. This is a classic from the Small Corners album of all Christian songs.

 

December 21, 2008

Cliff Richard Christmas Songs

Filed under: Christianity, Christmas, Faith — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:32 pm

cliff-richard1

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.

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