Winston Churchill will be a permanent fixture in history books of Western culture. His speeches were so inspiring that they literally pulled the Allied Forces and his own nation through the darkest hours and unending bombings of WWII. Although the words were in prose, they became poetry for an era, and have endured through the decades. The world these days is experiencing another time of trial, albeit from different sources of oppression. Inspiration remains needed, whether battling economic decline and rising unemployment or the omnipresent threat of terrorism and Taliban forces. Churchill spurred on armies seven decades ago, so why not call on him now to inspire entire populations who need all the visage of hope they can gather!
A rousing collection of Churchill’s speeches were accompanied by the Royal Air Force’s Central Band to create the album, Reach for the Skies. The recording was in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and only intended for military circles, but just since last week, the CD has blazed up the British charts to No. 4, alongside the likes of Katy Perry! No one has any doubt that it may easily find a home in the number one position for a long stay.
This is not the beloved Prime Minister’s first entree into the music business, however. The heavy metal band, Iron Maiden, featured snippets of a Churchill speech in their 1985 album Life After Death, and more recently in some AutoTune sample inserts for many artists. Churchill’s rise to the charts, though, is a first for any Prime Minister. Reach for the Skies showcases the “We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches” speech, which was first delivered to the House of Commons in the British Parliament on June 4, 1940. It was the second of a triad of three powerful speeches during the battle-sieged period, the first being the “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” from May 13, and the ” This Was Their Finest Hour” oratory of June 18 in the same year. Churchill became Prime Minister just eight months after the outbreak of WWII, and his speeches were pivotal in turning the tide to victory for the Allied forces.
What do the British think of Churchill’s newest hit with a bullet? Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Chart Company, says, “It is great that to a long list of Official Chart stars, including Elvis, Madonna, Cliff Richard, and the Beatles, we can now add Winston Churchill.” It appears it’s never too late to become Prime Minister Pop Star!