Language · Lyrics · Music · Trivia

UK #1s that contain multiple pronouns in their titles

I return to the subject of pronouns, something I wrote about in this post back in 2016. In case you need a reminder of what pronouns are, there are explanations in that earlier piece.

You might receive emails these days from people who specify their preferred use of pronouns, typically he/him, she/her or they/their. I have not yet received any emails that suggest “it/its” but things are changing all the time. You might have started to specify your preferred pronouns too.

There are people who get rather animated about this subject, people who declare that we are being patrolled by something called “The Woke Police”, and that they feel there should be a “War on Woke”. I am not one of those people, and I am not going any further down that route. Instead, I offer some facts about UK #1 singles that contain pronouns, going right back to the very first chart-topper, “Here in My [first person singular possessive pronoun} Heart” by Al Martino.

Including foreign language titles, such as “O Mein Papa” and “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” there have been over 450 instances of the UK #1 containing at least one pronoun, totalling over 1150 weeks of chart history. Discounting songs that had multiple runs at the top, either in their original version, or covered by other artists, there have been just over 420 different songs containing pronouns that made it to #1. There are four shared song titles in that list (“Same title different song”): “Let’s Dance”, “My Love”, “Hold My Hand” and “I Don’t Care”. Yes, I am including “Let’s Dance” (a contraction of “Let Us Dance”) as containing a pronoun. I also include the word “U” as a pronoun when used in that sense, as in “Nothing Compares 2U” and in the most recent chart-topper to contain a pronoun, “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo.

1957 was the only calendar year when none of the songs that made it to #1s contained any kind of pronoun in their title.

I have been prompted to reflect on these things by my recent habit of checking, every day, what was #1 on this date going back to 1953 (the first full year of chart history). I have noticed, in particular, songs that contain multiple pronouns. It was a big thing around this time of the year in the early-to-mid 1960s, as shown by these examples: “Tell Laura I Love Her” (1960), “Well I Ask You” (1961), “She’s Not You” (1962), “She Loves You” (1963), “You Really Got Me” (1964), “I Got You Babe” (1965). All of these songs were #1 in August or September (or both) in their respective years.

In 1962, “She’s Not You” replaced “I Remember You”, which had itself replaced “I Can’t Stop Loving You” at the top of the charts.

In 1963, “She Loves You” was replaced by “Do You Love Me”, which was followed by “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (just the one pronoun there), then “She Loves You” returned to the top until “I Want to Hold Your Hand” started its 5-week run in December. From “How Do You Do It?” In April 1963 through to January 1964, when “Glad All Over” ended the run, every UK chart-topper contained at least one pronoun in its title, although two of them had the relevant word in brackets, as shown here:

Date Title Artist Weeks at 1
Thu 11/04/1963 How Do You Do It? Gerry & The Pacemakers 3
Thu 02/05/1963 From Me To You Beatles 7
Thu 20/06/1963 I Like It Gerry & The Pacemakers 4
Thu 18/07/1963 Confessin’ (That I Love You) Frank Ifield 2
Thu 01/08/1963 (You’re The) Devil In Disguise Elvis Presley With The Jordanaires 1
Thu 08/08/1963 Sweets For My Sweet Searchers 2
Thu 22/08/1963 Bad To Me Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas 3
Thu 12/09/1963 She Loves You Beatles 4
Thu 10/10/1963 Do You Love Me Brian Poole & The Tremeloes 3
Thu 31/10/1963 You’ll Never Walk Alone Gerry & The Pacemakers 4
Thu 28/11/1963 She Loves You Beatles 2
Thu 12/12/1963 I Want To Hold Your Hand Beatles 5

Every UK chart-topper that contains at least two pronouns

To finish, here’s a list of every UK chart-topper that contains at least two pronouns (107 titles, totalling 300 weeks at #1). From me to you, as it were.

Date Title Artist Weeks at 1
Fri 16/01/1953 You Belong To Me Jo Stafford 1
Fri 05/11/1954 My Son My Son Vera Lynn 2
Fri 20/02/1959 As I Love You Shirley Bassey 4
Fri 15/05/1959 A Fool Such As I/I Need Your Love Tonight [Double A-Side] Elvis Presley 5
Fri 18/12/1959 What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For Emile Ford & The Checkmates 6
Thu 29/09/1960 Tell Laura I Love Her Ricky Valance 3
Thu 29/12/1960 I Love You Cliff Richard & The Shadows 2
Thu 25/05/1961 You’re Driving Me Crazy Temperance Seven 1
Thu 03/08/1961 Well I Ask You Eden Kane 1
Thu 12/07/1962 I Can’t Stop Loving You Ray Charles 2
Thu 26/07/1962 I Remember You Frank Ifield 7
Thu 13/09/1962 She’s Not You Elvis Presley 3
Thu 02/05/1963 From Me To You Beatles 7
Thu 12/09/1963 She Loves You Beatles 4
Thu 10/10/1963 Do You Love Me Brian Poole & The Tremeloes 3
Thu 28/11/1963 She Loves You [Returned to #1] Beatles 2
Thu 12/12/1963 I Want To Hold Your Hand Beatles 5
Thu 10/09/1964 You Really Got Me Kinks 2
Thu 25/02/1965 I’ll Never Find Another You Seekers 2
Thu 20/05/1965 Where Are You Now (My Love) Jackie Trent 1
Thu 26/08/1965 I Got You Babe Sonny & Cher 2
Thu 28/04/1966 You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me Dusty Springfield 1
Wed 08/11/1967 Baby Now That I’ve Found You Foundations 2
Wed 04/09/1968 I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You Bee Gees 1
Wed 26/02/1969 Where Do You Go To My Lovely Peter Sarstedt 4
Sat 11/10/1969 Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg 1
Sat 28/11/1970 I Hear You Knocking Dave Edmunds 6
Sat 13/11/1971 Coz I Luv You Slade 4
Sat 30/06/1973 Skweeze Me Pleeze Me Slade 3
Sat 28/07/1973 I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am) Gary Glitter 4
Sat 17/11/1973 I Love You Love Me Love Gary Glitter 4
Sat 19/01/1974 You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me New Seekers 1
Sat 17/08/1974 When Will I See You Again Three Degrees 2
Sat 07/12/1974 You’re The First The Last My Everything Barry White 2
Sat 22/02/1975 Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel 2
Sat 16/08/1975 Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love) Stylistics 3
Sat 25/10/1975 I Only Have Eyes For You Art Garfunkel 2
Sat 06/03/1976 I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves To Dance) Tina Charles 3
Sat 27/03/1976 Save Your Kisses For Me Brotherhood Of Man 6
Sat 26/06/1976 You To Me Are Everything Real Thing 3
Sat 13/11/1976 If You Leave Me Now Chicago 3
Sat 19/02/1977 When I Need You Leo Sayer 3
Sat 02/04/1977 Knowing Me Knowing You Abba 5
Sat 17/06/1978 You’re The One That I Want John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John 9
Sat 27/01/1979 Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick Ian Dury & The Blockheads 1
Sat 12/04/1980 Working My Way Back To You – Forgive Me Girl (Medley) Detroit Spinners 2
Sat 12/12/1981 Don’t You Want Me Human League 5
Sat 26/06/1982 I’ve Never Been To Me Charlene 1
Sat 23/10/1982 Do You Really Want To Hurt Me Culture Club 3
Sat 23/07/1983 Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home) Paul Young 3
Sat 02/06/1984 Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Wham! 2
Sat 08/09/1984 I Just Called To Say I Love You Stevie Wonder 6
Sat 10/11/1984 I Feel For You Chaka Khan 3
Sat 09/02/1985 I Know Him So Well Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson 4
Sat 31/08/1985 I Got You Babe [A cover of the 1965 Sonny & Cher #1] Ub40 Featuring Chrissie Hynde 1
Sat 14/12/1985 Saving All My Love For You Whitney Houston 2
Sat 23/08/1986 I Want To Wake Up With You Boris Gardiner 3
Sat 07/02/1987 I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) Aretha Franklin & George Michael 2
Sat 06/06/1987 I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) Whitney Houston 2
Sat 15/08/1987 I Just Can’t Stop Loving You Michael Jackson 2
Sat 03/10/1987 Pump Up The Volume / Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance) M/A/R/R/S 2
Sat 30/01/1988 I Think We’re Alone Now Tiffany 3
Sat 25/06/1988 I Owe You Nothing Bros 2
Sat 24/09/1988 He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother Hollies 2
Sat 22/07/1989 You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You Sonia 2
Sat 09/03/1991 Should I Stay Or Should I Go Clash 2
Sat 08/06/1991 I Wanna Sex You Up Color Me Badd 3
Sat 13/07/1991 (Everything I Do) I Do It For You Bryan Adams 16
Sat 21/11/1992 Would I Lie To You Charles & Eddie 2
Sat 05/12/1992 I Will Always Love You Whitney Houston 10
Sat 12/06/1993 (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You Ub40 2
Sat 23/10/1993 I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) Meat Loaf 7
Sat 07/12/1996 I Feel You Peter Andre 1
Sat 15/03/1997 Mama/Who Do You Think You Are Spice Girls 3
Sat 12/04/1997 I Believe I Can Fly R Kelly 3
Sat 28/06/1997 I’ll Be Missing You Puff Daddy & Faith Evans Ft. 112 3
Sat 26/07/1997 I’ll Be Missing You [2 separate spells at #1] Puff Daddy & Faith Evans Ft. 112 3
Sat 31/01/1998 You Make Me Wanna… Usher 1
Sat 05/09/1998 If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next Manic Street Preachers 1
Sat 26/09/1998 I Want You Back Melanie B Ft. Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott 1
Sat 19/12/1998 To You I Belong B*Witched 1
Sat 06/02/1999 You Don’t Know Me Armand Van Helden Ft. Duane Haeden 1
Sat 22/05/1999 You Needed Me Boyzone 1
Sat 21/08/1999 If I Let You Go Westlife 1
Sat 24/06/2000 You See The Trouble With Me Black Legend 1
Sat 29/07/2000 We Will Rock You Five & Queen 1
Sat 19/08/2000 I Turn To You Melanie C 1
Sat 29/09/2001 Can’t Get You Out Of My Head Kylie Minogue 4
Sat 24/04/2004 F**K It (I Don’t Want You Back) Eamon 4
Sat 22/05/2004 F.U.R.B (F U Right Back) Frankee 3
Sat 27/11/2004 I’ll Stand By You Girls Aloud 2
Sat 19/02/2005 Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own U2 1
Sat 29/10/2005 I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor Arctic Monkeys 1
Sat 12/11/2005 You Raise Me Up Westlife 2
Sat 10/06/2006 I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) Sandi Thom 1
Sat 07/03/2009 My Life Would Suck Without You Kelly Clarkson 1
Sat 05/02/2011 We R Who We R Kesha 1
Sat 18/06/2011 Changed The Way You Kiss Me Example 2
Sat 06/08/2011 She Makes Me Wanna Jls Ft. Dev 1
Sat 15/09/2012 Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) Ne-Yo 1
Sat 22/12/2012 He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother Justice Collective 1
Sat 29/03/2014 I Got U Duke Dumont Ft. Jax Jones 1
Sat 24/05/2014 I Will Never Let You Down Rita Ora 1
Sat 26/07/2014 Me And My Broken Heart Rixton 1
Sat 14/02/2015 Love Me Like You Do Ellie Goulding 4
Thu 09/07/2015 Are You With Me Lost Frequencies 1
Thu 07/09/2017 Look What You Made Me Do Taylor Swift 2
Thu 21/02/2019 Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored Ariana Grande 1
Thu 17/12/2020 All I Want For Christmas Is You Mariah Carey 2
Thu 08/04/2021 Montero (Call Me By Your Name) Lil Nas X 5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s