This Week In 1983: The Top Music of June 10th, 1983
Irene Cara, #1 position, week three and holding strong. Def Leppard drops twelve spots on their way out of the countdown while Laura Branigan and Bryan Adams both fall eleven spots. The Police and “Every Breath You Take” climb eleven spots to #25 on their way to the top spot and, eventually, song of the year. There’s also a strong country crossover presence in the bottom quarter of the countdown with Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Milsap and, a personal favorite, Alabama.
Songs sitting just outside the Top 40 ready to break in: Donna Summers and “She Works Hard For The Money”, Duran Duran’s “Is There Something I Should Know”, “Sweet Dreams” by The Eurythmics, Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back” and “White Wedding” by Billy Idol.
Song Story: “Don’t Pay The Ferryman” by Chris de Burgh
This song has as strange history. For starters, there were originally two different videos for this song. There’s the one I have on this post and then there’s another version, a creepier version, with de Burgh boarding a small ferry piloted by a skeleton in a robe and hood. It has a very dark and evil feel to it. I know about this version because that’s the version I saw time and time again when I was a kid. Scared the hell out of me. Here’s where the strangeness starts: neither of these videos are available on YouTube or anywhere else. Any web page that has this video embedded says it’s unplayable due to not being available in this region. I found the video I have linked in this post on the FIFTEENTH page of my Google search results and it was on a page where all the text is, I believe, Persian.
The strangest part is that de Burgh completely denies the that the version of the video with him in the boat exists. I found questions all over the web asking about that version of the video. and I found several interviews where he adamantly denies that it exists. If that’s true…how do so many of us remember it? Weird, huh?
The song peaks out at #34 in a couple of weeks but went on to be a staple on US rock radio.