| To Sir With Love has been a staple in Luvplanet's live show for some time now. We often end our set with this song, and it always gets an incredible response. After shows, people either ask us, "What is that awesome song you played? Is it an original? Is it on the cd?" Or they say, "No way, I can't believe you guys played that! I love that song and I love Lulu!"
Lulu (aka Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie), the Scottish born singer, had been a star in Britain since 1964 when she hit the Top Ten with a raucous version of "Shout". In 1967, she landed her first film appearance in the timeless movie To Sir With Love, starring screen legend Sidney Poitier. The film is a story about the aspiring Engineer, Mark Thackery (Sidney Poitier) who finds himself stuck in a dead end job teaching a class full of rebellious, lower class kids in one of London's worst secondary schools, North Quay. Lulu plays the sassy little brat Ms. Peg, who actually sings the title track in the movie's finale. The song was originally written by Don Black & Marc London who had penned many huge hits for film over the years. This song is the running theme throughout the film, and the melody is very infectious. So much so that it stuck with me for years.
I remember when I was young, my father Hugh Joseph McGee (1930-2004 RIP) would not let me touch the TV unless I watched what he had on. Fortunately for me, he loved classic movies. Year after year there were certain ones he would always see, and To Sir With Love was one of them. I was probably 10 years old the first time I saw it. I was very rebellious as a kid, as most kids are, and I remember watching this movie and thinking, "Oh my God there's hope". The movie, centered around young rebels overcoming adversity, reinforced my burning desire and confidence to follow my dreams with the belief that everything would work out ok. I still get a feeling of my youthful innocence when I watch it, and I love that about the movie.
Through the years I would be drawn to amazing female vocalists such as Ann Wilson, Kate Bush, Sarah Brightman, Sandi Saraya and countless others. Eventually I realized one day where it all started, and it was Lulu and this song! Ever since then, I thought it'd be a cool song to cover. Many people have done versions of it, including the legendary Al Green. One day when talking with Nicole about great songs that would be fun to do, To Sir With Love came up and she said, "Hey let's do it and let's make it rock". That was all I needed to hear! The version we've done is the full length version with three verses of lyrics in it. This version is only in the movie. The actual single release was an edit with only 2 of the verses. It's really a fun song for us to play, and for me there are many personal reasons I'm attached to it, memories of my Dad being the biggest! There's something timeless about it, and I think that anyone can relate to it in some way. This must be why it was a #1 hit in the U.S. and why it's a hit at the Luvplanet shows! Thanx Lulu!
Mark / Luvplanet