December 22nd:_ “Mistletoe and Wine” Cliff Richard

“Mistletoe and Wine” is a Christmas song made famous as a sigle by Cliff Richard in 1988.

The song was written by Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart and Keith Strachan for a musical called Scraps, which was an adaptation of hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” set in Victorian London.

Scraps was first performed at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, London in 1976. The musical was renamed The Little Match Girl and adapted for television by HTV in 1987, and featured Roger Daltry, Paul Daneman, Jimmy Lewel and Twiggy. As originally conceived, “Mistletoe and Wine” had a different meaning from that for which it has come to be known. The writers wanted a song that sounded like a Christmas carol, intending it to be sung ironically while the little matchgirl is kicked out into the snow by the unfeeling middle classes. By the time the musical transferred to television, the song had become a lusty pub song sung by the local whore, as played by Twiggy.

Richard liked the song, but changed the lyrics to reflect a more religious theme (which the writers accepted).


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