I’m writing this on one of the dampest, greyest, most uninspiring days of the year; the kind of day people imagine when they think of “British weather”. I don’t imagine February 1963 was much nicer: a canny release date choice for Cliff and company, making this dandelion-light song sound wistful and hopeful.
In ’63 the concept of a “Summer Holiday” abroad (let alone driving around Europe in a customised bus, like Cliff does in the film) was slowly turning from jet set dream to mass-market reality. “We’ve seen it in the movies / Now let’s see if it’s true” – this is a song about new prosperity, new possibilities. That’s why it struck such a chord, and that’s probably why it endures as one of Cliff’s signature tracks.
Of course it doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the songs where his matey big brother persona grates least. I’ve been generally harsh on Cliff Richard because (especially in his ‘romantic’ singles) he often turns the winsome knob way too high, but with the harmless breeziness of the early 60s about to be shunted mostly to one side I can afford a little generosity.