We’ve made it to the top three of the second annual Alfie Boe Best Ever Song poll and if you’ve been following this far, it’s safe to say that the major shock came last week with the news that Alfie’s best known dropped down to number four from top of the heap last year. Yes, Bring Him Home no longer reigns. So, which will be the top?
Before we get there, number three is the second offering from Onward, A Gaelic Blessing. Written by renowned British composer, John Rutter, in 1978 as a commission from an American Methodist church, the piece is often used as part of hatched, matched and despatched ceremonies as well as being sung by choirs all over the world. The video features Aled Jones before Alfie’s version:
Interestingly, despite composing almost exclusively religious music, John Rutter describes himself as an “agnostic supporter of the Christian church”.
Number two is something completely different, being from Alfie’s 2013 Trust album. Keep Me In Your Heart is the highest non-classical sounding song in the top ten and is one of my all time favourites (it’s the buttons on your blouse that does it for me) and I’m obviously in good company!
The song was written by US musician and songwriter, Warren Zevon in response to receiving a terminal diagnosis of asbestos related cancer although it was the last song to be recorded for 2003’s The Wind, Zevon’s final album. Zevon survived the album release by only a few weeks although he did manage to see it achieve a top 20 chart position, his highest position since his critically acclaimed earlier album, Excitable Boy.
Love this song but the original doesn’t do it for me I’m afraid – the buttons on my blouse are quite safe! Now for Alfie’s version:
Adore this video with lots of my friends in – are you in there? Let us know!
So we come to the final position, which is you’ve been following avidly, you will know goes to a Serenata song, Addio Sogni Di Gloria. To my knowledge, he’s only sung this live once and I was one of the lucky ones there at the time. Classic FM Live was the occasion and we were also lucky enough to grab a few minutes at the stage door that evening.
All I can say is that the recording does not do it justice – absolutely blew us all away.
The song was originally recorded by Italian singer Luciano Virgili and written by Italian Carlo Innocenzi who write music for many Italian films from the 1940’s onward. Translated, the title means Goodbye, Dreams of Glory and the poignancy of the song sits effortlessly against the glorious soaring melody.
Thank you for accompanying me on this musical journey of discovery and thank you for choosing a song from Serenata as your 2015 Best Ever Alfie Boe Song – it will be interesting to see if Serenata remains on top in 2016!
Onward, Trust and Serenata are all available here:
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I am surprised by the selections as well although I suspect that the popularity of Addio has something to do with the first promotion of Serenata. They used a clip from the song and the glorious images of the Italian coast with Alfie in a blue suit. I remember my reaction the first time I saw it and I was definitely blown away by it. I had to look up the song because I had never heard it. The song is very old-fashioned in its construction and sounds like Mario Lanza might have sung it. Like the Lehàr songs, I think the song in spite of its beautiful soaring sections has little mass appeal and maybe that’s why he doesn’t perform it much. The chorus is great but the rest of it, not so much.
Keep my in your heart has a great folky appeal and I think Alfie does those songs really well. Two previous top10’s- Fratello Sole and A Living Prayer are both reworked folk songs.
It’s great to see such variety but I have to confess that I like his broadway songs a lot especially Wheels of a Dream.
I am surprised and delighted at this. A Gaelic Blessing was sung at my wedding. I told Alfie that when I first met him at STV. I think everyone has loved Alfie singing Keep Me In Your Heart at concerts because he has such fun with it. I love Addio Sogni di Gloria. It is glorious.
Very odd that the number one song has only been sung live once and that the 3rd favourite has not been publicly performed. Just goes to show that people are listening to Alfie’s albums. The top three is quite an eclectic mix.