This song was performed by ex-model Twiggy in the 1986 British television Christmas musical The Little Match Girl, which was based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name. The show's producer thought the song would be ideal for Cliff. Cliff loved the song, but he wanted to put in a few lyrical alterations, to give the song a more religious message to tie in with its Christmas release. It became the UK #1 during Christmas 1988 the best selling single in UK of of the year.
"Mistletoe and Wine" was written by Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart and Keith Strachan, and it was first performed as part of the musical Scraps (later retitled The Little Matchgirl) at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, London in 1976. Leslie Stewart's wife Sarah told us: "Twiggy was indeed in the TV version made for HTV some ten years later. The most interesting aspect of the song and its subsequent fame is that in its original context it is meant to be a kind of pastiche carol - all the Christmas clichés - which is sung by well-to-do carol singers who are in fact indifferent to the fate of the starving little matchgirl, despite the words they sing. Leslie was at first horrified at the idea of the song being recorded by Cliff, and losing the edge its original context supplied."
Mark from Dublin, IrelandIt wouldnt be christmas without hearing this song in the shops as we are all doing our christmas shopping....I first heard cliff singing this track in concert in sept 1988,i was 12 years old and this single was prob one of the first singles i brought out of my own money....I have since spent a fortune of cliff but as a cliff fan it has being worth it.
Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" opens with the South African female singer Letta Mbulu saying the Swahili phrase "Naku penda piya-naku taka piya-mpenziwe." There was some geographic liberty here, as Swahili is not spoken in the West African nation of Liberia.