Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

The Millennium Prayer

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Covid-19
B-side  Two Worlds
Genre  Pop
Released  November 15, 1999
Length  4:41
Format  CD single, Cassette single
Recorded  August 1999, Skratch Studio/Surrey & Whitfield Street Studios/London

"The Millennium Prayer" is a 1999 charity single by Cliff Richard that reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart. The song features Richard singing the words of the Lord's Prayer to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne". It was not written to be entered into the charts, instead being written to form part of the Share Jesus International production, Hopes & Dreams, by writer Stephen Deal and composer Paul Field. While Richard did not sing during the production tour, he did feature on the album containing the songs from the production. The version released into the charts was a re-recording.

"Millennium Prayer" was released by an independent record label, Papillon Records, after Richard's own label EMI refused to release it. Proceeds of the single went to aid charity Children's Promise. The song was panned by the critics and many radio stations refused to play it, but it still became a No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart, and became Richard's second single in the 1990s to reach No. 1 after the 1990 release "Saviour's Day".

It was also a major hit outside the UK, reaching No. 2 in Australia and New Zealand and No. 3 in Ireland.

Richard performed the song exclusively on An Audience with... Cliff Richard, before a video had been made for it. Richard reportedly asked, during breaks, for a room with a camera and green screen; he would then record all of the footage of him to be used in the video for "The Millennium Prayer" in less than an hour.

The song was beaten to the British Christmas number-one single for 1999 by Westlife, having been No. 1 for the three preceding weeks. It was also Richard's 14th UK No. 1 hit, his 112th hit overall, the third highest-selling single of his career. However, a 2004 VH1 poll labeled it the worst No. 1 record of all time. The song also reached No. 2 in a similar poll in 2003 run by Channel 4. The song won the Ivor Novello Award for the best selling single of 1999. Richard released the single with neutral view stating it was a way in which people could unite, regardless of their belief system or religion they adhere to.

References

The Millennium Prayer Wikipedia


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