“Cat’s eyes are particularly valuable in fog”*

*(Wikipedia): “(road) The inventor of cat’s eyes was Percy Shaw of Boothtown, Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. When the tram-lines were removed in the nearby suburb of Ambler Thorn, he realised that he had been using the polished steel rails to navigate at night. The name “cat’s eye” comes from Shaw’s inspiration for the device: the eyeshine reflecting from the eyes of a cat. In 1934, he patented his invention.”)

Neil Armstrong reported for the Financial Times of MAY 25 2020:

“One of the first major sporting events to fall victim to Covid-19 was this summer’s Euro 2020. Football fans will be acutely aware of the yawning gap stretching across the summer, and Wales fans in particular will be feeling bereft: their team have only once before qualified for this four-yearly tournament, which was set to take place in cities across Europe. Their opening match in Baku, scheduled for June 13, would surely have been an opportunity for the team’s travelling fans to revive what has become a popular and enduring chant, based on Frankie Valli’s 1967 hit, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”.

The song was adopted by Wales fans back in 1993 thanks to a BBC promotional campaign. Ahead of Wales’s crucial football World Cup qualifier against Romania that year, John Morgan, who was head of presentation and promos for BBC Wales, was making a short film to promote the televised game. He set out to create a new chant that would catch on with fans.

“Having been to previous qualifying matches, I knew that there really wasn’t an uplifting chant,” says Morgan. “The only song that was sung at that time was a reworking of a John Lennon song — ‘All we are singing, is give us a goal’. It was more desperate than inspirational.”

He knew exactly which music to use for the promo. A song had lodged in his mind when watching The Deer Hunter. The 1978 film features a scene in which Pittsburgh steel workers about to go off to the Vietnam war sing along to a number blasting out of a bar jukebox.

Morgan and his production team recorded themselves singing the song’s chorus and played it over footage of Wales footballers Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs and others in action. The promo was screened 20 times in the run-up to the game — but it was only as Morgan was walking to the stadium in Cardiff  for the match (which Wales lost) that he realised just how successful he had been. All around him, fans were enthusiastically chanting: “Da-ra, da-ra, da-ra, da da da, da-ra, da-ra, daaa… I love you baby!”

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” was written in 1967 by lyricist and producer Bob Crewe and Four Seasons keyboards player Bob Gaudio for Frankie Valli, the group’s singer. Lyrically, it is an uncomplicated but extravagant declaration of love. Musically, it is built around three melodies composed by Gaudio. 

Valli’s version reached number two in the US charts and a recording by Andy Williams reached number five in the UK charts the following year. (More than 30 years later Williams would re-record it as a duet with Denise van Outen.) It has been covered in many different styles and by the turn of the century was the fifth most played song on US radio and TV. Barry Manilow, Engelbert Humperdinck, Shirley Bassey and Gloria Gaynor have sung it. 

A disco version by the Boys Town Gang reached number four in the UK in 1982 and influenced the Pet Shop Boys’ impish 1991 medley of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” and the “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” chorus.

A heavily pregnant Lauryn Hill lay on the floor on her back to record her hip hop-style version which featured as a hidden track on her acclaimed 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Continuing the Welsh connection, a Manic Street Preachers cover appears on the rarities compilation album Lipstick Traces and, during the Welsh band’s millennium New Year’s Eve concert at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, singer James Dean Bradfield performed an acoustic version as the first song after midnight.

It has also had a rich film life. The late Heath Ledger winningly sings it to woo Julia Stiles’s character in the romcom 10 Things I Hate About You. In Bridget Jones’s Diary, it’s playing at the party at which Bridget first meets Mark Darcy. The original Frankie Valli version is in Drew Goddard’s cult neo-noir thriller Bad Times at the El Royale

Poignantly, the song is now also particularly associated with the former footballer and Wales manager, Gary Speed, who died in 2011 at the age of 42. The Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones recorded an acoustic version as a tribute, which was played at Speed’s funeral.

“The lyrics are all about devotion,” says Morgan, now managing director of a video production company. “It resonated really strongly when Gary died because he was deeply loved. It was just perfect. I have been astonished at the way it has been really embraced by everyone. That’s the power of music.” “

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