Thursday, 14 October 2010

Campaign to get Cliff Richard to Christmas Number One - time to call Rage Against the Machine?

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To mark Cliff Richard's 70th birthday today, the Christian blogger Archbishop Cranmer has launched a campaign to get "Little Town", the veteran crooner's version (cover? remix?) of the carol "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" to number one this Christmas:
"Remember when Christmas used to be about Jesus and festive Number Ones? Mistletoe and Wine? When a Child is Born? Saviour's Day? Mary's Boy Child? Yes, there have been quite a few more 'secular' hits, but at least they were genuinely 'popular' - that's the free market for you.

And then along came Simon Cowell and X-Factor, with a manipulated four-year Christmas dominance which was ended last year by the democratic protest of Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name'.

And Mr Cowell's been even more cunning this year by making every week leading up to Christmas an iTunes download week, just to get his x-factorholics used to downloading an interminable stream of plastic karaoke covers, all culminating in another mushy Christmas release.

We can't engineer a white Christmas, but we can certainly try to make 25th December 2010 just like the ones we used to know."
As the blurb points out, this is of course an attempt to emulate the Facebook campaign that sent Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" to number one last Christmas. It's all good fun, but I'm sure many of you will feel a little nauseous at the thought of another holy Christmas number one for Sir Cliff.

It certainly has you wondering whether secularists should be launching a counter-campaign – what could be this year's "Killing in the Name"? There's already a campaign to get John Cage's "4:33", described as "4 minutes and 33 seconds of avant garde silence", to number one, but surely we could come up with something a little more sacrilegious to take on Cliff's carol?

One thing to bear in mind with a counter-campaign is that Cliff, as Archbishop Cranmer explains, has, very kindly, agreed to donate the download proceeds from "Little Town" to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. So any secular challenge would ideally have a charity angle too – and then if it turned into a competition between the two, all the better, because charities would be benefiting.

So what songs do you think would make the perfect antidote to Cliff's "Little Town" at Christmas number one? (Though I imagine lots of you, after all the Rage v X Factor hype last year, would prefer none of this to happen. In a way I'm with you, despite having just written this blogpost!)
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