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Sweet Cherry Wine


Tommy James & the Shondells

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Expressing his Christian beliefs in this song, James told us that the "sweet cherry wine" is "A metaphor for the blood of Jesus." Talking about his faith, James said: "I don't worship every Sunday; I worship every day. Every hour of every day. It's just me, it's part of me. I became a Christian in 1967. I was brought up Catholic, but I really didn't know my faith very well, didn't know what I believed, why I believed what I believed. And in 1967 I was listening to Billy Graham at Shea Stadium on television. And we were writing, as a matter of fact, and I put the guitars down and started listening. And he just gave the most amazingly lucid teaching on why Jesus came. And I had never heard it put quite that way before. I had heard a lot of over-my-head sophisticated kind of things growing up. But I never really heard the gospel message quite like that. And there's a moment, I equate it to hitting a champagne glass – a crystal champagne glass with a fork, you know how you get that pure tone? That's kind of how I felt when I heard Billy Graham explain why Jesus came. And I knew I'd heard the truth. It's too simple and too beautiful to not be the truth, and not be God. And I was actually high at the time, it's true. It just cut right through everything that was going on with me, and I just got right up to the TV and put my hand on the TV and made my commitment right there."
This was song was released at the height of psychedelia. The 2 previous Tommy James & the Shondells singles were also trippy: "Crimson And Clover" and "Crystal Blue Persuasion."
Tommy James & the Shondells
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Comments (7):

Agree with Ron, Rick, and Martin. And Joe of Monroe, NY: you are correct. "C and C" and "Crystal Blue Persuasion" were both on the "C and C" album released in 1968, and the single "C and C" was released first. But for some reason, "Sweet Cherry Wine" was released as a single before "CBP." "SCW" was then included on TJ and the Shondells' next album, "Cellophane Symphony."
- mac, evanston, IL
I agree with both Ron and Rick.
- Martin, Fresno, CA
Right on Ron.....a fantastic and beautiful song it is....Tommy made some sweet music
- Rick, Belfast, ME
was this song also a protest against the war in Vietnam?
- mike, eastman, GA
The actual order of single releases by TJ & the Shondells was: Crimson & Clover, Sweet Cherry Wine, THEN Crystal Blue Persuasion. There is a marvelous gospel version from 2005 that was done by Tommy James with The Kootz.
- Joe, Monroe, NY
love it ! babykisses
- Grace, reno / tahoe , NV
Sweet Cherry Wine is a beautiful song that doesn't get as much airplay as it should. Tommy James has said that "Sweet Cherry Wine" refers to the blood of Jesus Christ. As the lyrics say
"Only God has the right to decide who's to live and die". "To save us He gave us sweet cherry wine". Ron
- ron, Bothell, WA
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