#888: Christina by Terry Jacks

Peak Month: November 1975
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Terrence Ross Jacks was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1944. March 29, 1944, Winnipeg, Manitoba. During his career as a recording artist he became a household name and recognized as a singer, songwriter, record producer and environmentalist. His family moved to Vancouver in 1961 and he formed a band named The Chessmen along with local guitarist, Guy Sobell. The Chessmen had four singles that made the Top 20 in Vancouver, two which were double-sided hits. These included “Love Didn’t Die,” “The Way You Fell” and “What’s Causing This Sensation,” and Top Ten hits. Jacks met Susan Pesklevits on a local CBC music show called Let’s Go in 1966. In 1968 they become the core of the band, The Poppy Family.

In 1968 The Poppy Family had a regional #2 hit with “Beyond The Clouds.” Their follow up in 1969 was a gentle anti-racist, pro-environmental, pro-marijuana legalization tune titled “What Can The Matter Be.” Their next single, “Which Way Is Going Billy?” became an international hit. Terry Jacks won a Juno Award for this recording. The Poppy Family racked up numbers of Top 30 singles in Vancouver through to 1973 including local #1 hits “I Was Wondering” and “That’s Where I Went Wrong.” Concurrently, Terry Jacks released several solo records. The first was “I’m Gonna Capture You” followed in 1972 with the pro-environtalmentalist tune “Concrete Sea.” His best known for his 1974 hit song “Seasons in the Sun.”

Jacks released eight more singles though only one of these, “Christina,” made the local pop charts.

Christina by Terry Jacks

Christina can make you feel so groovy.
Christina will make you almost burn.
But Christina can only try and fool ya,
’cause you know Christine ain’t too good.

Christina, moving like a river.
Christina can never turn around.
And Christina, well, no one comes to see ya,
‘Cause you know Christine can’t be found.

I had a dream about you, Christine,
I dream’t that flowers growing sideways so green.
And butterflies covered all of your head,
and an angel slept beside your bed.

Christina, if I could stop that river,
Christina, I could let you know.
Christina, I got that something for ya,
and you know I can’t let it go.

I had a dream about you, Christine,
I dream’t that flowers growing sideways so green.
And butterflies covered all of your head,
and an angel slept beside your bed,
and an angel slept beside your bed.

Christina, Christina,
Christina, Christina.

“Christina” is a song about a woman who keeps on moving, flowing like a river. Guys like the narrator of the song have fallen for her and the feeling remains. He dreams about her at night. But Christina isn’t looking back to see what effect she is having on men who cross her path. She keeps moving on and can’t be found. Christina is not preoccupied with finding someone in her life, certainly not the guy in the song who has a “thing” for her. What drives Christina forward to keep on moving like a river? The songs’ lyrics don’t tell us.

“Christina” made it to #10 in Vancouver, Ottawa and Cleveland, Ohio. It got to #15 in Toronto and #17 in Windsor. But the song didn’t fare well beyond these radio markets. In the summer of 1976 “In My Father’s Footsteps” made the Top Ten in Hamilton, Ontario.

Jacks would go on to produce records for other recording artists including Nana Mouskouri, Valdy, George Jones and Buddy Knox. Jacks remarried and moved to Haida Gwai on the northwestern coast of British Columbia. He has worked on a number of environmental films over the years. In 2016 he suffered two strokes.

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