‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’ by Chris de Burgh
It is a truth universally acknowledged that ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham is the best song ever, there is no escaping that, but I’m going to use the festive week to champion an underrated Christmas song. One that is not overtly about Christmas, but one man’s reimagining of the Angel Gabriel as some sort of extraterrestrial being who comes to Earth to spook Mary and Jesus and sing the good folks a song; a man who descends from Plantagenet earldom, is the father of a former Miss World and believes that he can literally heal people with his hands (notice anything there?). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr Lady in Red himself, Chris de Burgh.
Barring all of that insanity, I do genuinely enjoy ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’ and the way it puts a twist on the Christmas story, kind of like the whole David Icke, royal family are lizards, Illuminati thing, but a bit nicer. de Burgh did a pretty thorough rundown of what the song is about for the BBC a few years back, which you can find here, suffice to say there is a bit of WB Yeats (‘The Second Coming’) and some bizarre pseudoscentific theory.
Musically this has what you come to expect from the mid- to late-70s, ethereal pianos, some nice crescendos and what sounds like some lovely Spanish guitars that bring the verse in. The highlight of the song, however, is at the end when de Burgh goes a bit nuts on the vocals and starts shouting, in a good way, beginning with ‘OH THE WHOLE WORLD IS WAITING’. So sit down with some eggnog by an open fire with your family and enjoy the dulcet tones and healing hands of Chris de Burgh.