Music · Trivia

UK #1 hit singles: the title is not in the song (the answers)

Yesterday I set the following challenge. Can you name five songs that reached #1 in the UK that do not contain the title anywhere in the lyrics of the song? (Instrumentals don’t count.)

I linked to this page on the Trivia Menu in case you got stuck. It mentions two of the songs in a question towards the end of the post (question 4), and six more in the answer to that question.

The eight songs contained on that page are:

“Unchained Melody”, a #1 for four different artists: Jimmy Young (1955), The Righteous Brothers (1990), Robson and Jerome (1995) and Gareth Gates (2002).

“Bohemian Rhapsody”, #1 twice for Queen (in 1975 and 1991).

“Space Oddity”, David Bowie (when re-issued in 1975).

“The Ballad of John and Yoko”, The Beatles (1969).

“The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde”, Georgie Fame (1968)

“Maggie May”, Rod Stewart (1971)

“Do ya think I’m sexy?”, Rod Stewart (1978)

“Everything I Own”, Ken Boothe (1974) (he sings “Anything I own” throughout the song).

As well as these there are a further 27 songs that do not contain the title anywhere in the lyrics. I have merged them with the original eight answers (35 answers in all) into the lists below, first in date order (the date when the song first reached #1) and then alphabetically by artist.

NOTE: Some of the titles here are very close to the words sung during the song, but they are not identical. For example, the title of the first Arctic Monkeys #1 is “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”, but the chorus includes an extra word: “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor”. Similarly, the first Manic Street Preachers #1 was titled “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next” and the chorus also includes an extra word: “If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next”.

This list will be updated to incorporate titles after the publication date (September 2017).

Date order

Year Song Artist(s)
1955 Unchained Melody Jimmy Young
1968 Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde Georgie Fame
1969 Ballad Of John & Yoko The Beatles
1971 Double Barrel Dave & Ansil Collins
1971 Maggie May Rod Stewart
1973 Skweeze Me Pleeze Me Slade
1973 The Puppy Song David Cassidy
1974 Annie’s Song John Denver
1974 Everything I Own Ken Boothe
1975 Space Oddity David Bowie
1975 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
1978 Da Ya Think I’m Sexy Rod Stewart
1980 Theme From MASH (Suicide Is Painless) Mash
1985 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) Dead Or Alive
1986 The Chicken Song Spitting Image
1988 Theme From S’Express S’Express
1990 Dub Be Good To Me Beats International featuring Lindy Layton
1991 Sadness Part 1 Enigma
1991 Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) Cher
1991 The Fly U2
1995 Country House Blur
1998 If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next Manic Street Preachers
2001 Too Close Blue
2002 The Hindu Times Oasis
2004 Lola’s Theme Shapeshifters
2005 Importance Of Being Idle Oasis
2005 I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor Arctic Monkeys
2006 Thunder In My Heart Again Meck featuring Leo Sayer
2008 Viva La Vida Coldplay
2008 The Promise Girls Aloud
2009 (Barry) Islands In The Stream Vanesa Jenkins & Bryn West featuring Sir Tom Jones & Barry Gibb
2009 Boys And Girls Pixie Lott
2009 Official BBC Children In Need Medley Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band
2011 The Lazy Song Bruno Mars
2011 Loca People Sak Noel
2014 Prayer in C Lilly Wood and Robin Schulz
2020 Head & Heart Joel Corry featuring MNEK

Alphabetically by song

Year Song Artist(s)
1974 Annie’s Song John Denver
1968 Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde Georgie Fame
1969 Ballad Of John & Yoko The Beatles
2009 (Barry) Islands In The Stream Vanesa Jenkins & Bryn West featuring Sir Tom Jones & Barry Gibb
1975 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
2009 Boys And Girls Pixie Lott
1986 The Chicken Song Spitting Image
1995 Country House Blur
1978 Da Ya Think I’m Sexy Rod Stewart
1971 Double Barrel Dave & Ansil Collins
1990 Dub Be Good To Me Beats International featuring Lindy Layton
1974 Everything I Own Ken Boothe
1991 The Fly U2
2020 Head & Heart Joel Corry featuring MNEK
2002 The Hindu Times Oasis
2005 I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor Arctic Monkeys
1998 If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next Manic Street Preachers
2005 Importance Of Being Idle Oasis
2011 The Lazy Song Bruno Mars
2011 Loca People Sak Noel
2004 Lola’s Theme Shapeshifters
1971 Maggie May Rod Stewart
2009 Official BBC Children In Need Medley Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band
2014 Prayer in C Lilly Wood and Robin Schulz
2008 The Promise Girls Aloud
1973 The Puppy Song David Cassidy
1991 Sadness Part 1 Enigma
1991 Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) Cher
1973 Skweeze Me Pleeze Me Slade
1975 Space Oddity David Bowie
1980 Theme From MASH (Suicide Is Painless) Mash
1988 Theme From S’Express S’Express
2006 Thunder In My Heart Again Meck featuring Leo Sayer
2001 Too Close Blue
1955 Unchained Melody Jimmy Young
2008 Viva La Vida Coldplay
1985 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) Dead Or Alive

 

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