Lyrics · Music · Trivia

UK #1s containing the word “Don’t”

In this earlier piece, about the UK’s best-selling singles by year, I noted that three of the best-selling songs in the 1980s began with the word “Don’t”. We had “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” (Police, 1980) “Don’t You Want Me” (Human League, 1981) and “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (Communards, 1986).

Including these titles, there have been 24 UK #1s that begin with the word “Don’t”. Nearly all of them are giving some kind of instruction. The only exceptions are “Don’t You Want Me”, “Don’t Cha” (Pussycat Dolls, 2005) and “Don’t Wanna Go Home” (Jason Derulo, 2011). Here’s the full list, in chronological order.

24 UK #1s beginning with the word “Don’t”

“Don’t Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes”, Perry Como With The Ramblers (1953)

“Don’t Throw Your Love Away”, Searchers (1964)

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, Elton John & Kiki Dee (1976)

“Don’t Give Up on Us”, David Soul (1977)

“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, Julie Covington (1977)

“Don’t Stand So Close to Me”, Police (1980)

“Don’t You Want Me”, Human League (1981)

“Don’t Leave Me This Way”, Communards (1986)

“Don’t Turn Around”, Aswad (1988)

“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, George Michael & Elton John (1991)

“Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle)”, Outhere Brothers (1995)

“Don’t Look Back in Anger”, Oasis (1996)

“Don’t Speak”, No Doubt (1997)

“Don’t Give Up”, Chicane featuring Bryan Adams (2000)

“Don’t Call Me Baby”, Madison Avenue (2000)

“Don’t Stop Movin’”, S Club 7 (2001)

“Don’t Cha”, Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes (2005)

“Don’t Stop Me Now”, McFly (2006)

“Don’t Hold Your Breath”, Nicole Scherzinger (2011)

“Don’t Wanna Go Home”, Jason Derulo (2011)

“Don’t Go”, Wretch 32 featuring. Josh Kumra (2011)

“Don’t You Worry Child”, Swedish House Mafia  (2012)

“Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself”, Jess Glynne (2015)

“Don’t Stop Me Eatin’”, Ladbaby (2020)~

Other UK #1s telling you what not to do

There have been a further 21 UK #1s that contain the word “Don’t”, but most of these are not telling us what to do. Only the following 7 give some kind of instruction. Again, they are in chronological order.

“Please Don’t Tease”, Cliff Richard & The Shadows (1960)

“You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”, Dusty Springfield (1966)

“Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me”, Tams (1971)

“Billy, Don’t Be A Hero”, Paper Lace (1974)

“Papa Don’t Preach”, Madonna (1986)

“Please Don’t Go”, KWS (1992)

“Please Don’t Let Me Go”, Olly Murs (2010)

A final piece of advice, from an American #1

There have been hundreds of other hit singles that have told us, or asked us, what to do, but I have only been dealing here with UK #1s that contain the word “Don’t”. There are some worthwhile instructions here: “Don’t Give Up”, “Don’t You Worry Child”, “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself”. I’ll end with Bobby McFerrin’s advice from his 1988 American #1. It nearly topped the chart here in the UK but was kept at #2 by Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time”:

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.


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