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Mistletoe and Wine


Mistletoe and Wine

"Mistletoe and Wine"
Single by Cliff Richard
from the album Private Collection: 1979–1988
B-side "Marmaduke"
Released November 1988
Format 7" Single, CD-Single
Recorded 6–10 June & 12–13 July 1988 RG Jones Recording Studios/Wimbledon
Genre Christmas, pop
Length 4:11
Label EMI 203024
Writer(s) Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart and Keith Strachan
Producer(s) Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard singles chronology
"Two Hearts"
"Mistletoe and Wine"
"The Best of Me"

"Mistletoe and Wine" is a song made famous as a single by Cliff Richard.

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.[1] The musical was renamed and adapted for television by HTV in 1987, and featured Roger Daltrey, Paul Daneman, Jimmy Jewel and Twiggy.[2] 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.[1]

Richard liked the song, but changed the lyrics to reflect a more religious theme (which the writers accepted).[3]

Richard's ninety-ninth single, it became his twelfth 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 United Kingdom. In December 2007 the single entered at number 68 on the UK Singles Chart by virtue of downloads.

One of the record breaking statistics often cited about Cliff Richard is his achievement of number one hit singles in five consecutive decades, and Mistletoe and Wine is important to this record in being his only number one hit of the eighties.

Richard's version of the song was also used in a British public information film about drink driving. The film was part of the Drinking And Driving Wrecks Lives campaign, which films were shown during ad breaks over the Christmas period.

The boy singing a high solo in the end of the song is James Rainbird.

Chart positions

Chart (1988/1989) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[4] 30
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 22
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 71
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 70
Norway (VG-lista)[8] 7
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[9] 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 1
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


  1. ^ a b "The Stories of the Christmas Hits".  
  2. ^ "The Little Match Girl on IMDB". Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  3. ^ John McKie, Mistletoe and Wine's political beginnings, BBC News, 14 December 2013
  4. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Mistletoe & Wine". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  5. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Mistletoe & Wine" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  6. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Mistletoe & Wine" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  7. ^ " – Cliff Richard Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  8. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Mistletoe & Wine". VG-lista. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  10. ^ "December 1988/ Archive Chart: 3 December 1988" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 September 2013.

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