Sunday, August 14, 2011

See You in September...

As Cliff Richard sings ..

We're all going on a summer holiday
no more working for a week or two..

Have fun !!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This Day In Music History

Sunday 31 July 2011

1959, Cliff Richard was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Living Doll.' The singers first of 14 UK No.1's. The song was one of three from the film, Serious Charge.

1964, Country singer Jim Reeves was killed in a plane crash when the single engine aircraft flying from Arkansas to Nashville crashed in thick fog. 41 year- old Reeves was the first country singer to cross- over into the pop market. (1960 US No.2 single 'He'll Have To Go', 1966 UK No.1 single 'Distant Drums').

1968, Tommy James and The Shondells were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Mony Mony'. Also a hit for Billy Idol in 1987.

1969, Elvis Presley kicked off a four week run at the Las Vegas International Hotel, (his first live show since 1961). He reportedly netted $1.5m for the shows. On the menu an Elvis special, polk salad with corn muffins & honey.

1971, James Taylor went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the Carole King song 'You Got A Friend'. The song would go on to win the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. Taylor scored nine other solo US Top 40 hits during the 70's.

1985, The Eurythmics had the No.1 position on the UK singles chart with 'There Must Be An Angel, (Playing With My Heart); Paul Young had the US No.1 with 'Everytime You Go Away'.

1991, Bryan Adams was enjoying his third week at No.1 on the UK singles chart with '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You'. The single stayed a No.1 for a record-breaking sixteen weeks.

1999, Christina Aguilera scored her first US No.1 single with 'Genie In A Bottle', also No.1 in the UK. The song spent 5 weeks at No.1 on the US chart and won Aguilera the Best New Artist Grammy for the year.

2000, Eighties pop maestro Mike Stock was declared bankrupt. Mike who was one third of 80's hit factory Stock, Aitken and Waterman had been involved in several court battles over copyright issues.

1946, Born on this day, Gary Lewis singer, (1965 US No.1 single with The Playboys, 'This Diamond Ring' plus 11 other US Top 40 hits).

1947, Born on this day, Karl Green, guitar, Herman's Hermits, (1964 UK No.1 single 'I'm Into Something Good', 1965 US No.1 single 'Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter').

1953, Born on this day, Hugh McDowell, cello, Electric Light Orchestra, (1979 UK No.3 & US No.4 single 'Don't Bring Me Down', plus 26 other Top 40 hits)

1957, Born on this day, Daniel Ash, Bauhaus, (1982 UK No.15 single 'Ziggy Stardust'), Love & Rockets and solo.

1958, Born on this day, Bill Berry, drums, R.E.M. (1991 UK No.6 & US No.10 single 'Shiny Happy People', plus over 20 Top 40 UK singles, 1992 UK No.1 & US No.2 album 'Automatic For The People'). Berry quit the band in 1997.

1960, Born on this day, Malcolm Ross, Aztec Camera, (1988 UK No.3 single 'Somewhere In My Heart').

1963, Born on this day, Norman Cook, Housemartins, (1986 UK No.1 single 'Caravan Of Love'), Beats International, (1990 UK No.1 'Dub Be Good To Me'), Freak Power, ('Turn On Tune In Cop Out'), aka, Pizzaman, Fatboy Slim, (1999 UK No.1 single 'Praise You').

1964, Born on this day, Jim Corr, guitar, keyboards, vocals, The Corrs, (1998 UK No.3 single 'What Can I Do'. 'Talk On Corners' was the best selling UK album of 1998 spending 142 weeks on the UK chart).

1978, Born on this day, Will Champion, drums, Coldplay, (2000 UK No.4 single 'Yellow', 2000 UK No.1 album 'Parachutes' and the 2005 worldwide No.1 album ‘X&Y').

The Rolling Stones - Long Long While

Sunday 31 July 2011

Long Long While was written by Jagger - Richards

It was the flipside of 'Paint It Black'in the UK release in May 1966.

Rolling Stones - Stupid Girl

Sunday 31 July 2011

Stupid Girl" is a song featured on their 1966 album Aftermath. It was also issued as the B-side of the U.S. "Paint It, Black" single.

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "Stupid Girl" is noted for its apparently degrading lyrics towards women, a claim also made about other Stones songs like "Under My Thumb" and "Brown Sugar".

On the song, Bill Janovitz says in his review, "Unlike another of the album's put-downs, "Under My Thumb," "Stupid Girl" rails and spits venom with a high school garage rock band-like intensity and with about the same level of polish and focus. But while it is not as well-written as "Under My Thumb," "Stupid Girl" possesses an endearing and energetic snottiness that might have won the Stones a good amount of sexually frustrated young men fans who might have otherwise started to defect to the Who and the Kinks when they heard ballads like "Lady Jane."

On the song's lyrics, Richards said in a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, "It was all a spin-off from our environment... hotels, and too many dumb chicks. Not all dumb, not by any means, but that's how one got. When you're canned up - half the time it's impossible to go out - it was to go through a whole sort of football match."

When asked about the song and its influences, Jagger said in a 1995 interview with the same magazine, "Yeah, it's much nastier than 'Under My Thumb'... Obviously, I was having a bit of trouble. I wasn't in a good relationship. Or I was in too many bad relationships. I had so many girlfriends at that point. None of them seemed to care they weren't pleasing me very much. I was obviously in with the wrong group."

“ I'm not talking about the kind of clothes she wears - look at that stupid girl. I'm not talking about the way she combs her hair - look at that stupid girl. ”
“ The way she talks about someone else; That she don't even know herself; She's the sickest thing in this world; Well look at that stupid girl ”

"Stupid Girl" was recorded at Los Angeles' RCA Studios on March 6–9, 1966. With Jagger on lead vocals and tambourine, Richards plays electric guitars while Brian Jones plays acoustic. Charlie Watts performs drums while Bill Wyman performs bass. Ian Stewart plays organ on the song while Jack Nitzsche performs electric piano.

"Stupid Girl" was performed by the Stones during their tour of 1966. It has been included on the 1989 Singles Collection: The London Years.

Rolling Stones - Paint It, Black

Sunday 31 July 2011

"Paint It, Black" is a song released by The Rolling Stones, on 13 May 1966 as the first single from their fourth album Aftermath. It was originally titled "Paint It Black" without a comma. Keith Richards has stated that the comma was added by the record label, Decca.

The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Brian Jones contributed to the song's signature riff. Bill Wyman claims in his books that the song was a collective effort of the group, a 'Nanker-Phelge' one, but mistakenly credited to Jagger/Richards at the end.

The single reached number one in both the United States and the United Kingdom charts in 1966. In 2004 it was ranked number 174 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In the US and UK, it was the first number one single to feature a sitar on the recording.

The song began with Wyman playing organ at a recording session, in parody of the group's former co-manager Eric Easton, who had been an organist. Charlie Watts accompanied the organ by playing a vaguely Middle Eastern drum part; Watts' drum pattern became the basis for the final song. Brian Jones contributed the song's signature sitar riff (having taught himself to play after a visit with George Harrison), and Jagger contributed to the lyrics, seemingly about a man mourning his dead girlfriend.

More literally, it is about using the visual trick of painting everything black in the mind's eye. Both electric and acoustic guitars and the background vocals are provided by Richards. The piano is played by Jack Nitzsche.

The bass was also overdubbed by Bill Wyman playing on the bass pedals of a Hammond B3 organ.

The Rolling Stones - Fortune Teller

Sunday 31 July 2011

"Fortune Teller" is a song written by Allen Toussaint under the pseudonym Naomi Neville and first recorded by Benny Spellman

The Rolling Stones version was on their first live album, Got Live If You Want It! but overdubbed with screaming girls. The scream-free version can be found on the compilation More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies)

Cover versions exist by The Hollies, The Who (on their famous Live at Leeds), The Merseybeats, Tony Jackson, The Downliners Sect, the Hardtimes, the Stellas (stereo CBS Germany 1965 and still found on new compilations), Strawberry Alarm Clock (recording as Thee Sixpence), and many others, including more recently the October 2007 album Raising Sand, performed by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.The song was also a hit in Australia, recorded by The Throb.

This Day In Music History

Saturday 30 July 2011
1960, The Elvis Presley album 'Elvis is Back' was at No.1 on the UK chart.

1966, The Beatles started a five week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Yesterday...And Today', the group's 8th No.1 album.

1966, The Troggs started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Wild Thing'.

1973, Gary Glitter was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I'm The leader Of The Gang (I Am), the singers first of three No.1's.

1977, The Bee Gees younger brother Andy Gibb started a four-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Just Wanna Be Your Everything', his first of three US No.1's, it peaked at No.26 in the UK.

1978, Glen Goine, singer and guitarist with Parliament Funkadelic died from Hodgkin's Lymphoma aged 24. Had the 1978 US No.16 album 'One Nation Under A Groove'.

1986, Variety magazine reported that RCA had dropped John Denver from its roster after the release of his single, ‘What Are We Making Weapons For’. Variety said the song upset the record company's new owner, General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the US.

1988, Steve Winwood started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Roll With It', a No.53 hit in the UK.

1998, Jamiroquai were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Deeper Underground', the first single from the album Synkronized. It was included in the soundtrack of the movie Godzilla.

2003, Sam Phillips the founder of Sun Records and studio died of respiratory failure at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. In the 1940s, Phillips worked as a DJ for Muscle Shoals, Alabama radio station WLAY. Phillips recorded what some consider to be the first rock and roll record, ‘Rocket 88’ by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats in 1951. He discovered Elvis Presley, worked with Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Ike Turner, B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis.

2006, Shakira feat Wyclef Jean started a four week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Hips Don't Lie.’ A remake of Wyclef Jean's 2004 song 'Dance Like This', the song went on to top the charts in over 50 countries. The song is the biggest selling single of the 21st century by a female artist worldwide.

2006, British gay magazine ‘Attitude’ listed the ‘Top 10 Gay Albums’ of all time. No.1 was Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters, 2, Arrival – Abba, 3, Vauxhall and I – Morrissey, 4, Light Years - Kylie Minogue, 5, Older - George Michael, 6, Welcome To The Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 7, Erotica – Madonna, 8, I Am a Bird Now - Antony and the Johnsons, 9, Bad Girls - Donna Summer and No. 10 The Man Who Sold the World - David Bowie.

2009, Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher won his long battle to be recognised as co-writer of the band's hit ‘Whiter Shade of Pale.’ Law Lords ruled that Fisher, who claimed he wrote the song's organ melody, was entitled to a share of future royalties. In 2006, the High Court ruled he was entitled to 40% of the copyright, but the Court Of Appeal overturned the ruling in 2008 saying he waited too long, 38 years, to bring the case to court.

1941, Born on this day, Paul Anka, singer, (1957 UK & US No.1 single 'Diana'. The single sold over 9 million copies world- wide). Wrote many classic songs including: 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore', 'Puppy Love' and the lyrics to 'My Way.'

1945, Born on this day, David Sanborn, saxophone, US session player, worked with Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, David Bowie.

1946, Born on this day, Jeffrey Hammond Hammond, bass, Jethro Tull, (1969 UK No.3 & UK No.11 single 'Living In The Past').

1949, Born on this day, Andy Scott, guitar, Sweet, (1973 UK No.1 single 'Blockbuster', plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles). Sweet scored four top-ten hits in the US: Little Willy, Ballroom Blitz, Fox On The Run, and Love Is Like Oxygen.

1957, Born on this day, Chris Miller (Rat Scabies), drums, The Damned, (1986 UK No.3 single 'Eloise').

1958, Born on this day, Kate Bush, UK singer, songwriter, (1978 UK No.1 single 'Wuthering Heights' plus over 20 other UK Top singles. Her 1985 UK No.1 album 'Hounds Of Love' spent 52 weeks on the chart).

1968, Born on this day, Sean Moore, drums, Manic Street Preachers, (1996 UK No.2 single 'A Design For Life' 1998 UK No.1 album 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours').

Nelly Furtado - Say It Right

Saturday 30 July 2011

Nelly Kim Furtado (born December 2, 1978) is a Portuguese-Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. She has sold 20 million albums worldwide and 18 million singles, bringing her total sales to nearly 40 million records. Furtado grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Furtado first gained fame with her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, and its single "I'm like a Bird", which won a 2001 Juno Award for Single of the Year and a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It produced two more international singles: the more successful "Turn off the Light", and "Shit on the Radio (Remember the Days)".

After giving birth to her daughter Nevis, her second studio album, Folklore, was released. It was less commercially successful in the US. It produced three international singles: "Powerless (Say What You Want)", "Try", and "Força" (the theme of the 2004 European Football Championship).

In summer 2006, she released her third studio album, Loose. It is her biggest success to date worldwide. It produced the number-one hits "Promiscuous", "Maneater", "Say It Right" and "All Good Things (Come to an End)". After a three-year break, in September 2009, she released her first full-length Spanish album, Mi Plan, along with her first Spanish single "Manos al Aire", which topped the Billboard Hot Latin Songs. This made Furtado the first North American singer to top the Billboard Hot Latin Chart with an original Spanish song. Further singles released were "Más" and "Bajo Otra Luz". For Mi Plan, Nelly received the Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. On October 26, a remix album, Mi Plan Remixes, was released. Furtado released her first greatest hits album, The Best of Nelly Furtado, one month later on November 12, 2010.

"Say It Right" is a song recorded by Canadian recording artist Nelly Furtado, from her third studio album, Loose (2006). Written by Furtado, Tim "Timbaland" Mosley and Nate "Danja" Hills, the song was inspired by, as Furtado described it, the "spooky, keyboard-driven pop sound" of the band Eurythmics, specifically their 1983 song titled, "Here Comes the Rain Again".

The song released as the album's third single in North America and Australia (see 2006 in music). The song served as the album's fourth single in certain European and Asian countries. It was released digitally in the United Kingdom in March 2007. It was the album's fifth single in Latin America.

"Say It Right" received positive reviews from critics praising its high quality production as well as commenting on the lyrical content and Furtado's vocal performance. The song attained worldwide success, topping the charts in more than fifteen countries, including the United States, Spain, France, New Zealand, Canada and many European countries.

The accompanying music video for the song, directed by Rankin & Chris, portrays Furtado singing in various costumes and in various locations. The song has been performed on a number of live appearances by Furtado, including her third headlining Get Loose tour.

Giusy Ferreri - Non ti scordar mai di me

Saturday 30 July 2011

Giusy Ferreri (born Giuseppa Gaetana Ferreri on 18 April 1979 in Palermo, Italy) is an Italian singer-songwriter. In 2008 Giusy took part at the first Italian edition of the talent show X Factor, in which she came second. Her vocal qualities have been compared to Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, Amy Winehouse and Adele. Between 2008 and 2009, Ferreri sold 900,000 copies of her first EP and debut album.

Non ti scordar mai di me (Never Forget About Me) is a song written by Roberto Casalino and Tiziano Ferro and co-produced by Fabrizio Giannini.

The song was released as the singer's debut single on May 30, 2008 in Italy, and peaked at number one in Italy, where it became one of the best-selling and most-downloaded singles of all the time and also reached the #1 in Greece, the top 30 on the sales charts in Switzerland and the top 20 position on a composite European Singles Chart.

The music video for Non Ti Scordar Mai Di Me was directed by Cosimo Alemà and entered the planning of the thematic channels from June 30, 2008. It shows the singer to interpret the passage sat on the angle of a bed. To these sequences are alternated other, in which the principal history of the video is told.

In these sequences Giusy has shown in the meticulous preparations of a romantic dinner. On the screen sometimes is shown the schedule in which the action develops. At 19.35 Giusy chooses the suit to wear, at 20.18 it's everything ready but at 21.02 the guest is not introduced yet.

The video continues showing Giusy who becomes impatient, she waits up to midnight, then she eats greedily alone the prepared dinner, as long as 02.16 when the telephone rings. Nevertheless he's not the man, but a friend of her.

Melanie Fiona - Monday Morning

Saturday 30 July 2011

Melanie Fiona Hallim (born July 4, 1983) is a Canadian recording artist from Toronto, Ontario. She was born to Guyanese immigrant parents of African, Indian, and Portuguese descent and grew up in the inner city of Toronto.
Living in a music filled household, Fiona says she always knew music was her passion. Her father was a guitarist in a band and would allow her to sit on the stage when she was younger as he practiced, and remembers her mother playing music at home; everything from The Ronettes to Whitney Houston.
Fiona was featured on Reggae Gold 2008 with the Supa Dups-produced "Somebody Come Get Me". Her debut album The Bridge was released in the summer of 2009. She worked on the album with Future Cut, Vada Nobles, Stereotypes, J. Phoenix and Peter Wade Keusch.

The debut single "Give It to Me Right" was sent to radio stations on February 28, 2009, and peaked at number 20 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart and number 41 on the UK Singles Chart.

The second single, "It Kills Me", became her breakout song on the Billboard Hot 100 where it cracked the Top 50, along with topping the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song earned Fiona a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The Bridge also earned her a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding New Artist.

"Monday Morning" is a song from her debut album, The Bridge (2009). The song was written by Peter Wade Keusch, Sidh Solanki, and Charlene Gilliam, and recorded at LaBronze Johnson Studios, NYC. It was released as the third single only for the United States, as the song is only getting airplay on adult top 40 radio stations.

Friday, July 29, 2011

This Day In Music History

1963, Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with '(You're The) Devil In Disguise'. His 14th UK No.1.

1965, The Beatles second feature film 'Help!' had its UK premiere at The Pavilion in London.

1966, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker made their live debut as Cream at The Twisted Wheel, Manchester, England.

1966, Datebook published Maureen Cleave’s interview with John Lennon in which he said ‘We’re bigger than Jesus now.” American Christian’s reacted with outrage, organising ‘Beatle bonfires’ burning the group's records.

1967, The Doors started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Light My Fire'. The group's first US No.1, it only reached No.49 on the UK chart. Re- issued in 1991 when it made No.7 in the UK.

1968, Gram Parsons left The Byrds on the eve of a tour of South Africa, refusing to play to segregated audiences.

1968, The first recording session of The Beatles seven-minute epic 'Hey Jude' took place at Abbey Road studios London. The Paul McCartney song was written about John Lennon's son Julian.

1974, Mamas And The Papas singer Cass Elliot died in her sleep from a heart attack after playing a sold out show in London, England. She was staying at Harry Nilson's London flat when she died. Her only solo hit was 'Dream a Little Dream of Me,' which also featured the rest of The Mamas and The Papas. Had also been a member of The Mugwumps.

1978, Prince appeared on the US charts for the first time with 'Soft and Wet'

1978, The film soundtrack to Grease featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John went to No.1 on the US album chart.

1986, English songwriter, producer and manager Gordon Mills died of stomach cancer. Worked with Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones and Gilbert O'Sullivan. Wrote the 1963 No.4 UK hit ‘I'll Never Get Over You’, for Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, and ‘I'm The Lonely One’ a hit for Cliff Richard.

1988, American record producer and pedal steel guitar player Pete Drake died of lung disease. Worked with Elvis Presley, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Played on such hits as Lynn Anderson's ‘Rose Garden’, Charlie Rich's ‘Behind Closed Doors', Bob Dylan's ‘Lay Lady Lay' and Tammy Wynette's ‘Stand by Your Man’.

2007, Heart problems forced Kiss singer and guitarist Paul Stanley to abandon a show in California. Paramedics stopped and restarted his heart to give it a regular rhythm after his heart spontaneously jumped to 190 plus beats per minute.

1946, Born on this day, Neal Doughty, keyboards, REO Speedwagon, (1981 US No.1 & UK No.7 single 'Keep On Loving You').

1953, Born on this day, Geddy Lee, bass, vocals, Rush, (1980 UK No.13 single 'Spirit Of Radio' 1982 US No. 21 single 'New World Man'). Lee was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 9, 1996. The trio was the first rock band to be so honored, as a group.

1953, Born on this day, Patti Sciafa, US singer, worked with The Rolling Stones and on Keith Richards 'Talk Is Cheap' album. Toured with Bruce Springsteen Band from 1984 Born in the USA tour, married Springsteen on June 8th 1991. She has released two solo albums.

1972, Born on this day, Simon Jones, bass, The Verve, (1997 UK No.1 single 'The Drugs Don't Work').

Air Supply - Making Love Out of Nothing At All

"Making Love Out of Nothing At All" is a power ballad written and composed by Jim Steinman and first released by Australian rock band Air Supply for their 1983 compilation album Greatest Hits. It reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

It was held off from the top spot by another Steinman production, Bonnie Tyler's recording of "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
The song has been covered by many other artists, with the most successful cover being by singer Bonnie Tyler.

The song subsequently was released as a new track from their 1983 greatest hits album. The B-side of the single was "Late Again" They have included the song on their numerous greatest hits and live albums, and recorded an acoustic version for their 2005 album The Singer and the Song

Steinman offered the song, along with "Total Eclipse of the Heart", to Meat Loaf for his Midnight at the Lost and Found album; however, Meat Loaf's record company refused to pay Steinman for the material so Meat Loaf ended up writing compositions for the album himself. Steinman's songs were then offered to Bonnie Tyler & Air Supply

Corey Hart - Sunglasses At Night

Corey Mitchell Hart (born May 31, 1962) is a Canadian musician.At 13, he sang for Tom Jones and recorded with Paul Anka in Las Vegas and, at 19, recorded demos with Billy Joel and Eric Clapton before signing to a major label at the age of 20.

Hart's first album was recorded in Manchester, England in the spring of 1982. Released in 1983, First Offense, featured the US Top 10 hit songs "Sunglasses at Night" and "It Ain't Enough". The album went platinum in both Canada and the United States.

"Sunglasses at Night" was the first single to be released off his debut album, 1983's First Offense, and became a hit single in the United States, rising to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1984. The song is considered by many to be a classic of 1980s pop rock and New Wave music, combining an unflagging synthesizer hook, characteristic arpeggio, rock guitar, obscure lyrics and a punk undercurrent throughout the song.

The song is included in numerous hits collections of the period, especially in the U.S., but it was not as popular throughout the rest of the world at the time. Peaking at #24 in Hart's native Canada, it was not a hit in Europe and failed to chart at all in the UK.

In 2002, 19 years after the original version release, the song was re-recorded, with Original 3 as the producer of the 2002 remake.

Chris De Burgh - Don`t Pay The Ferryman

Chris de Burgh (born Christopher John Davison, 15 October 1948) is a British/Irish singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1986 love song "The Lady in Red".

"Don't Pay the Ferryman" is a single from the album The Getaway. It was produced in 1982. In 1983, the single reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.

The song tells the story of a man who boards a ferryboat and sets off. A storm approaches and the ferryman demands payment from the patron. The song's narrator warns the passenger not to pay the ferryman until the boat arrives at its destination on the other side.

The repetitive lyrics are believed to have a connection with mythology. The song describes the ferryman as "the hooded old man at the rudder," and seems to connect to the classic image of the Grim Reaper, a hooded being (usually a skeleton) who leads lost souls to "the other side," also a lyric in the song. The ferryman demanding his payment is also similar to the Greek ferryman of the dead, Charon. He demanded an obolus (coin) to ferry dead souls across the River Styx. Those who did not pay were doomed to remain as ghosts, remaining on the plane of the mare, the restless dead. Therefore in former cultures coins were laid below the tongues of dead persons.

In the bridge of the song, lines from Shakespeare's The Tempest can be heard, spoken very low by British actor Anthony Head.

Many fans of the British science fiction show Doctor Who believe that the actor who portrayed the "hooded old man at the rudder," in the video for the song is none other than Tom Baker, the fourth actor to play the famous Time Lord. Though he and Chris de Burgh deny this, the rumour persists.