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East 17’s Tony Mortimer discusses Stay Another Day’s tragic real meaning

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East 17’s Tony Mortimer discusses Stay Another Day’s tragic real meaning

East 17’s Tony Mortimer has opened up about how his band’s massive 1994 hit Stay Another Day, which earns him almost £100,000 every year in royalties, is based on his brother’s suicide

It’s considered a modern Christmas classic, wheeled out every December in pubs and bars across the country. 

But East 17’s Tony Mortimer has opened up about how his band’s massive 1994 hit Stay Another Day, which earns him almost £100,000 every year in royalties, is based on his brother’s suicide. 

Speaking to the Big Issue, Mr Mortimer discussed the tragic undertones to what became a festive hit, and how hearing those first chords bring memories of his beloved brother rushing back each time.  

‘It’s so odd that it’s a Christmas song,’ he said. ‘I wrote it about my brother’s suicide – so it’s about the end of a relationship, and missing someone.

‘That’s what it’s based on, and I think people like that. It might have been a hit because people felt sorry for me or whatever, but it’s also a very nostalgic song for Christmas, for looking back over the year and times gone by.’

The writer and founding member of East 17, Mr Mortimer admits that he ‘dreads’ hearing the song coming on the radio. 

The famous video shows the four singers wearing white Parka jackets against a black background with snow falling around them

The famous video shows the four singers wearing white Parka jackets against a black background with snow falling around them

The famous video shows the four singers wearing white Parka jackets against a black background with snow falling around them

He added: ‘I got over hearing Stay Another Day all the time at Christmas – I’ve accepted that. 

‘There was a time when that song just didn’t go away, it was a nightmare. Now I’ve got over it.’ 

He told the MailOnline previously: ‘I needed a reason to write the song. It was like therapy for me. I had never planned for it to be a hit.’

And while the Telegraph last year estimated that the unplanned hit earns £97,000 in royalties a year Tony says that his emotional association with it makes him reluctant to perform it again.

He says: ‘The meaning behind it is hard for me to ignore. I think everyone forgets that none of the other band members wrote those lyrics, therefore they don’t mean anything to them.’

Stay Another Day reached Number 1 in the UK charts when it was released in 1994 and regularly reappears in the Top 50 in the lead up to Christmas Day

Stay Another Day reached Number 1 in the UK charts when it was released in 1994 and regularly reappears in the Top 50 in the lead up to Christmas Day

Stay Another Day reached Number 1 in the UK charts when it was released in 1994 and regularly reappears in the Top 50 in the lead up to Christmas Day

Stay Another Day reached Number 1 in the UK charts when it was released in 1994 and regularly reappears in the Top 50 in the lead up to Christmas Day.

The famous video shows the four singers wearing white Parka jackets against a black background with snow falling around them.

The song contains the tragic lyrics:  ‘Baby if you’ve got to go away, I don’t think I can take the pain.

‘Won’t you stay another day. Oh don’t leave me alone like this. Don’t you say it’s the final kiss. Won’t you stay another day.’

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