Jimmy Cliff strikes chord with millennials

March 07, 2017
Jimmy Cliff

The popularity of Dr Jimmy Cliff's timeless masterpiece 'Many Rivers to Cross' has transcended generations and has gained a strong following among millennials ever since it was featured in the finale of the popular Netflix series 'Daredevil'.

"The response on social media I find exciting, especially with the millennium generation," Cliff said in an interview.

Almost 48 years ago, Cliff released the song, with production work by Leslie Kong, on his 1969 album, Jimmy Cliff. It was also released on the 1972 soundtrack album for the film The Harder They Come, in which Cliff also starred. Rolling Stone ranked it at number 325 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song was featured in the finale of the popular Netflix series Daredevil, an American web series revolving around a Marvel Comics character of the same name that aired in April 2015. There was an immediate rush of fans of the series to view the song on YouTube, and Cliff saw a spike in social media followers on Facebook and popular music sharing sites.

One user commented: "I've been captivated by this ballad since hearing it on Marvel's Daredevil. The cinematography of that scene with Ben Uric's funeral set to this music is beyond words! Bravo!"

 

STORY OF SONG

 

Cliff was only 21 when he wrote and recorded the song in 1969. He stated that he wrote the song due to the trouble he was having making it as a successful musical artiste after originally finding tremendous success in his home of Jamaica as a teenager before moving to the United Kingdom.

"Many Rivers To Cross came to me at a point in time when I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel to where I'm going, which is common on each person's journey of life. That's why this song resonates with everyone and endures, thus it being in TV and movies. It's a good feeling to be touching the lives of generations to generations," said Cliff, who will be releasing his latest single, Life, on March 10.

Many Rivers To Cross has also been featured in the 2013 film Rush, in addition to the TV shows Wilfred and Falling Skies. The song has been covered by artistes including Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Joe Cocker (1982), Percy Sledge, Desmond Dekker (1980), UB40, and Cher.

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