Monday, October 4, 2010

Hit song "St. Therese Of The Roses" banned by BBC

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death."
"I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses."
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, 1873-1897

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Anyone who thinks that the BBC just recently became anti-Catholic judging by the coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UK may be surprised to find out that back in 1956 the BBC banned the performance of a song that was essentially a devout prayer to St. Thérèse of  Lisieux.

Here is the Wikipedia entry for the song "St. Therese Of The Roses".
"St. Therese Of The Roses" is a 1956 popular song written by Remus Harris and Arthur Strauss. The song takes the form of a prayer to St. Therese of the Roses (Saint Thérèse of Lisieux) by a man who is about to marry asking the saint for her to send her blessings to himself and his sweetheart so they will have a happy and loving marriage.

A version performed by Billy Ward and His Dominoes was recorded on 18 April 1956 and issued in June of that year on the Decca label (Catalogue No. 29933). In the United States the song reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1956.

In the United Kingdom a version was recorded by the singer Malcolm Vaughan and reached #3 on the Hit Parade. Its success was helped following a controversy involving the BBC when, in October 1956 Vaughan had been scheduled to appear on BBC TV's Off The Record to promote the release of the song, but had the invitation withdrawn after a BBC committee decided that it was unsuitable for broadcast. The reason given was that "the lyric is contrary both to Roman Catholic doctrine and to Protestant sentiment." The resulting controversy coupled with airplay on Radio Luxembourg ensured the record's success. As well as peaking at #3, it stayed in the charts for five months and ultimately sold half a million copies.
While the official explanation claims that the lyrics are "contrary to Roman Catholic doctrine", I can't see how that can be true. You can listen to the song below and read the lyrics, and decide for yourself.

The other thing this brings to mind is that the music industry is capable of exerting an extreme amount of influence over the public. If a song like this could be a hit in 1956, why not today?

St. Therese of the roses
I will come to you each night
Near the altar in the chapel
I will pray by candle light

St. Therese of the roses
Won't you kindly hear my prayer
Give your blessings to my sweetheart
And the love that we both share

Won't you guide us (guide us)
And protect us (protect us)
Through the years that lie ahead
Won't you fill our hearts with sunshine
On the day that we are wed

You're the little flower of heaven
Guiding all who come to you
St. Therese of the roses
I know you'll make my prayer come true

[Instrumental Interlude]

You're the little flower of heaven
Guiding all who come to you
St. Therese of the roses
I know you'll make my prayer come true

1 comment:

  1. Lovely song I remember from my teenage days. BTW my wife was Therese now in the company of her patron saint.