The Millennium Prayer

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"The Millennium Prayer"
Single by Cliff Richard
from the album The Whole Story - His Greatest Hits
B-side Two Worlds
Released November 15, 1999
Format CD single, Cassette single
Recorded August 1999, Skratch Studio/Surrey & Whitfield Street Studios/London
Genre Pop
Length 4:41
Label Papillon
Writer(s) David Arch, Stephen Deal, Paul Field, Anne Skates, Nigel Wright (lyrics)
Producer(s) Nigel Wright
Cliff Richard singles chronology
"The Miracle"
(1999)
"The Millennium Prayer"
(1999)
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
(2001)

"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.[1] It was panned by the critics and many radio stations refused to play it. Although it became a No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart,[2] and becoming his second single in the 1990s to reach No. 1 after the 1990 release "Saviour's Day".

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 two 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.[3] The song also reached No. 2 in a similar poll in 2003 run by Channel 4.[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.[citation needed]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1999-00) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[5] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 18
Germany (Media Control Charts)[7] 23
Ireland (IRMA) 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 19
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[2] 1

References[edit]

Preceded by
"King of My Castle" by Wamdue Project
UK Singles Chart number-one single
December 4, 1999 - December 18, 1999
Succeeded by
"I Have a Dream" / "Seasons in the Sun" by Westlife