Top Of The Pops Thursday: Tony Christie – I Did What I Did For Maria; Drive Safely Darling


I love songs that tell little stories. You know, lyrics that have a plot as opposed to songs that are just a collection of random thoughts or thematic ramblings.

And these are possibly my two favourite storytelling songs. They are also my second and third-favourite Tony Christie songs (I won’t say just yet what my favourite is but here’s a clue as to what it isn’t – I couldn’t care less how you get to Amarillo).

The stories they both tell are actually quite dark and depressing.

At number two on my own personal Tony Christie top three we have I Did What I Did For Maria – a western-themed song in which a killer, on the eve of his execution, recalls how he took cold-blooded revenge on his wife’s murderer. Not exactly heartwarming stuff… but a great song.

Here’s a live TV performance from the early 70s. The modern-day introduction to the archive footage appears to be from an eastern European TV channel but I’ve no idea which country or TV show the vintage clip came from. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

And at number three, we have the unintentionally hilarious Drive Safely Darling. I know it’s meant to be a sad song in which a man shares the guilt he feels about failing to stop his wife driving off on in treacherously bad weather, in which she crashes and dies – but the line where the sheriff turns up and gives him the bad news is so badly “acted” I can’t help laughing. That said, song-wise it’s pretty good and Christie’s voice (acting aside) is great as always.

This is a live performance from Top Of The Pops on January 8, 1976 (a true live performance, I’m pretty sure, rather than the usual TOTP miming).

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Filed under Classic TV, Top Of The Pops Thursday

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