51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 20: Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Summer Holiday

Technically, it’s not summer in the northern hemisphere yet, but there’s only just over a month to go before we reach the longest day of the year and we can look forward to three months of warm sunny days. Well, maybe not 3 months and, judging by the summers we’ve had in the UK since 2007, probably more likely to be wet and cool.

So, what am I doing choosing a song about a summer holiday? Well, next week I’m off on vacation and hopefully some disco dancing, but more about that later. We’re about to land the time machine in the year 1963.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past poster

Summer holiday is taken from the movie by the same name and was a number one hit in the UK in February 1963! Yes, I did say February. Rather odd, don’t you think, releasing a song in the UK about a summer holiday in the middle of winter? It’s almost like releasing a Christmas song in the middle of July. I don’t know what they were thinking but, nonetheless, it stayed at the number one spot for a total of three weeks. Coming up, I have two versions of the song in case the first one won’t play in your part of the world.

The song is probably the best-known tune from the movie and certainly helped Cliff with his film career. If you’ve never seen the movie, then I’d recommend giving it a quick whirl as it’s one of those movies that I consider to be ‘feel good’ viewing.

I was a bit concerned for Cliff’s safety as he waved at those children while driving that big, red, double-decker London bus, instead of keeping his eyes on the road. Still, at least he didn’t have a mobile phone in his hand, and he refused, twice, to eat that soft, damp, cheese, lettuce and pickle sandwich given to him by one of the occupants on the bus. Phew! Lucky escape there, Cliff. Maybe, I spoke too soon, though, when the bus careered off the road at 100 miles per hour? Another lucky escape there, Cliff.

Now, did I mention a summer holiday? Oh, yes. I’m off on a late spring holiday next week but fear not music fans. This feature will be back with a guest post on Tuesday 23rd May. So, please tune in for a fantastic song choice and come and say hello to my guest next week.

Do you have a favourite summer holiday song? Leave a link to it in the comments section.

Thank you to everyone who left a link to a favourite song in the comments section of last week’s post. Thank you to Ruth, Barbara, and Cookies & Moo who joined in with publishing a blog post of a favourite song.

Want to join Hugh in building up your 51 favourite songs from the past? Leave a link in the comments section below and showcase your next song.

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    1. What a happy, jolly song, Olga. I always remember loving the music played in Spain during my younger days when we were on holiday there. Those were the days of clubbing all night long and always missing breakfast. Happy memories indeed. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    1. Not heard of the movie Ski party, Marie. However, I found a trailer for it on YouTube and, although there was no mention of a London Double-decker bus, it looks a similar movie with lots of songs included. Looks as if it also included a lot of comedy with some hints of the movie ‘Some Like It Hot.’ Enjoy the rest of your vacation in Alaska.

  1. I think the idea of going on holiday on a double-decker bus appealed to me as a child, but I prefer my creature comforts these days. As for a song that puts me in mind of summer…

    1. I love the song, but I wonder why they decided to do the video outside in the snow when singing about ‘summertime’? I guess it could all be about memories, but it’s a nice choice for a summer song (ignoring the video). 😀

      1. My happiest memory of this song was actually created last year in February. However, I was in the Canaries and had just spent a week learning to sail a yacht. On the last afternoon, as we headed back to port for the last time, with the sun beating down on us, someone played this over the boat’s speakers and we all leaned back and sang along. A great way to end a fantastic week. So it wasn’t summer, but it was a sunny afternoon…

  2. This brings back memories. I saw the film when on holiday in Fleetwood with my family. Cliff was my mum’s favourite pop star. When she said we were going to see Cliff I thought she meant live, in a concert, and suggested we try to get his autograph. I was so disappointed when she said it was a film. I did enjoy it, though.

  3. I LOVE your selection for this week, Hugh! In responding to your request for favorite (summer) holiday song, there are so many options it was hard to choose. I finally settled on Ella. Enjoy your upcoming vacation!

    1. Yep, I’m a month early, Debby, but we always go away when it’s still term time at the schools. We’re so lucky to be able to do that. This seemed like the perfect song to get me in the mood. 🌞

  4. Summer in the City – Lovin’ Spoonful 1966 immediately popped into my mind, has to be my favourite – grittier than Summer Holiday! But the film Summer Holiday is very memorable, first time I was allowed to go to the cinema with out parents, with friend and her two big sisters all Cliff Fans. As the film opened we were disappointed, it was in black and white. What a thrill when the bus turned red! Ironically only a year later I went with the same friend, minus big sisters, to see A Hard Day’s Night in black and white; continuous showing we sat through it twice. I loved it.

    1. Summer Holiday is such a feel good movie to watch. I’m not sure I’d had enjoyed sleeping on that bus, but I would have certainly joined them on the daily drive.

      Thank you for sharing your memories of the movie and also ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. It’s great to see that Cliff still has a huge fan base.

  5. Hi Hugh,
    I must be living in a closet somewhere back then. I don’t remember the song or the singer. It is a catchy tune. Have a great vacation (holiday). Don’t dance your butt off too much. Hugs.

  6. Thanks for reminding me of this great song, Hugh. I was taking my 11 plus exam at the time, and it always reminds me of those exam nerves. I failed by the way!

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