Mike Oldfield - To France - 80sneverend - Queen of Chance

Queen of Chance

Mike Oldfield – To France

Never going to get to France
Mary Queen of chance, will they find you?
Never going to get to France
Could a new romance ever bind you
#ToFrance #MikeOldfield #MaggieReilly

It was not so common in the 80s to find songs dedicated to historical figures. At most you could find some songs dedicated to characters of the twentieth century, which was not really history, if you like. Perhaps the character who had gone further back in time was Falco who had told the life and adventures of Mozart in Rock Me Amadeus. He then went back two hundred years, more or less, beating the record that the Boney M had set in the 70s for dedicating a song to Rasputin.

The record was later set by Valerie Dore, who in 1986 dedicated the song Lancelot to the knights of the Round Table; but actually, just before Falco, someone had gone a little further back, dedicating a song to a queen of the sixteenth century, Mary Stuart.

An important queen, who lived a life of troubles and exile, forced to flee as a child from her Scotland in order not to be captured by the English, and who unfortunately placed herself in their hands twenty later, and that was her misfortune and her fatal tragedy. A queen who, however, also embodies the sense of destiny, because her son in fact united the Scottish and English thrones, and from there we arrive at the current English monarchy.

She was therefore a queen by chance, crowned as a baby aged few months and practically never able to reign, but also a queen of chance, in fact, given the circumstances around her life and her descendants. Some say she is the ultimate “Queen of chance”, starting precisely from the escape of that dramatic night of 1548, aged 5, accompanied by four maids, four babies of her same age, all named Mary like her.

To her, in June 1984, the great Mike Oldfield dedicated a ballad full of emotions and suggestion. Following the resounding success achieved in 1983 with the album Crises , which contained the unforgettable suggestions of Moonlight Shadow and Foreign Affair, Mike Oldfield had replicated the formula for success in his next album, Discovery. Of course, Mike Oldfield’s formula for success consisted of instrumental virtuosity, highly unconventional lyrics, but also the truly celestial voice of Maggie Reilly.
Probably, if there is a voice from the 80s that I would like to hear live in a private context, that is, not in big concerts, I would say that it’s really the voice of Maggie Reilly. The perfect voice, for which you can really use the term “celestial”.

To France, as it happened to Foreign Affair, didn’t even have a real video, as we can see from these frames where Maggie sings and Mike plays his Fender Stratocaster. And it’s a shame, because a story like this, entrusted to the right director, could have been a truly historic video. But Mike Oldfield was much more concerned with sounds and electronic experimentation than with the universe of images.

To France was quite successful and entered the top ten in several European countries in the summer of 1984. Ironically, the song had the same fate as the queen: England was the only country in which it did not even succeed to approach the throne of the top ten, but it reached the first place exactly in France!

Mike Oldfield and Maggie Reilly on Wikipedia

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