Chris De Burgh may be considered a wartime singer. He lived through the second world war and many of his songs are pervaded by the theme of war. One such is “Say Goodbye to it All”, in which he portrays the experiences of a soldier escaping the horrors of war to live a simple life with his wife by the sea.
But for me, Chris De Burgh is an “all time” singer. His songs not only carry a great rhythm and exceptional vocalization, but they also portray strength in times of adversity, hope in times of distress and practically in times of dreaminess.
Chris De Burgh stretches human love to its boundaries, and exceeds them, as in the song “Rosanna”. But he also emphazies human resilence, as in the “The Spirit of Man”.
The hit song “Don’t Pay the Ferry Man” deals with adventure and the need for caution in times of danger and treachery.
In “One World Straight to the Heart” he describes his use of an expensive car to send the message of his preparedness and zeal for the relationship he is about to get into. “This car is like a friend, bring her the message I wanna send”.
In “Last Night”, he exposes the dark, hidden side of war amidst the vain glory that comes with victory. “I was walking in the harbour far away from the music and the girls, when I saw a soldier waiting with a woman in black, and they stood without any word. Just staring at a photograph of someone and she began to cry…”
In his three-in-one songs: “The Leader, the Vision and What About Me”, he contrasts the glory of military conquest and with the impact it has on the common man.
In “Fire on the Water” he expresses his passion for indulgence and romance. “I can see fire on the water. I can see light shining in your eyes. I know that I can’t stop it now, cause I’d be caught in the heat of the sun. Oh let it shine…on me.”
The slow romance “Lady in Red” has been such a worldwide sensation that it has become a cliche. In it, Chris De Burgh boasts of his luck with romance, which doubtless every man experiences at some time or the other, in some form or the other, but in highly varying degrees. “And when you turned to me and smiled, you took my breath away.”
Chris de Burgh will doubtless go down in the history books as a classic: one of the greatest singers of all time.