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Pop Music
Songs

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Songs
People
Bee Gees songs
Songs Used in Levi's Ads
And finally ...

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Pop Music: Songs

Songs

American country standard: first recorded in 1972 by Gwen McCrae; UK No. 9 for Elvis Presley in 1972; the Pet Shop Boys' Elvis tribute version was UK Christmas No. 1 in 1987, and voted the best cover of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners in 2014 Click to show or hide the answer
Written by Robbie Williams and his regular songwriting partner Guy Chambers: released in 1997, Williams's best–selling single (1.16 million copies); won a 2005 poll as as the song people in the UK would most like to be played at their funeral (My Way was 2nd, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life 3rd) Click to show or hide the answer
Popular Scottish song: written in 1835 by Alicia Scott, based on a poem attributed to William Douglas (c. 1672–1748); opening line "Maxwelton's braes are bonnie" Click to show or hide the answer
Boney M song (1978): title uses the opening words of Psalm 137 Click to show or hide the answer
Joni Mitchell song after which Bill & Hillary Clinton named their daughter Click to show or hide the answer
Barry Manilow 1978 hit: based on Chopin's Prelude No. 20 (especially in its intro); also a hit for Donna Summer in 1976 and Take That (No. 3 in 1992, without the Chopin intro) Click to show or hide the answer
Words written in 1910 (by English lawyer Frederick Weatherly) to the traditional Irish tune Londonderry Air Click to show or hide the answer
Kinks song, re–released in 1996 after featured in a Yellow Pages advert Click to show or hide the answer
Hit for Wink Martindale in 1959, 1969, 1963, 1973, and Max Bygraves in 1973 Click to show or hide the answer
Written by Leon Russell, taken into the charts by Joe Cocker; said to have been inspired by the singer Rita Coolidge Click to show or hide the answer
Song from The Wizard of Oz (sung by the Munchkins): reached No. 2 in the UK charts in 2013 (to the dismay of some of the performers), following the death of a certain public figure Click to show or hide the answer
No. 1 for Tommy Roe in 1969, Vic Reeves and the Wonder Stuff in 1991 Click to show or hide the answer
Hit for Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes in 1976, Thelma Houston in 1977, The Communards in 1986 (Houston's version remixed in 1995) Click to show or hide the answer
Fleetwood Mac song, used as a theme tune in Bill Clinton's 1991 Presidential campaign Click to show or hide the answer
David Cameron claimed, on Desert Island Discs (2006) that his party piece, and the only song he knew all the words to, was Click to show or hide the answer
Rupert Holmes' biggest hit (1979) – a.k.a. "the Pina Colada Song" Click to show or hide the answer
No. 1 for the Bangles in 1989 and Atomic Kitten in 2001 Click to show or hide the answer
Hit for Ken Boothe, Bread and Boy George Click to show or hide the answer
Composed by Hoagy Carmichael, has been recorded by dozens of artists including Ray Charles and Willie Nelson; "official state song" of the state that shares its name Click to show or hide the answer
Conceived by George Martin for the 1960 film The Millionairess, starring Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers; music by David Lee, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer (of Les Misérables fame); not included in the film, but was a No. 5 hit; title used for a BBC TV sitcom (1996–8) Click to show or hide the answer
Marvin Gaye song (1977: US No. 1, UK No. 7), over which his family successfully sued Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke (to the tune of over $7 million) for plagiarism in Blurred Lines (2013 – a multiple-platinum No. 1 all around the world) Click to show or hide the answer
Propaganda song, written by Woody Guthrie in 1941, inspired by and named after an American engineering project; a UK top ten hit for Lonnie Donegan in 1958 Click to show or hide the answer
Hit for the Mindbenders in 1966; No. 1 for Phil Collins after he sang it in Buster Click to show or hide the answer
Written by sisters Patty and Mildred Hill – to be sung in the Kindergarten where Patty was a teacher – and first published in 1893; copyrighted in 1935 by the Summy Company, which was bought by Warner/Chappell Music in 1988 – thought to contribute 20% of the purchase price of $25 million; came out of copyright in the EU in 2017, and (following a 2013 lawsuit in which Warner/Chappell were successfully sued for unlawfully claiming copyright) was deemed in 2016 to have also done so in the USA Click to show or hide the answer
From the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific – a UK No. 1 hit for Captain Sensible in 1982 Click to show or hide the answer
"It's down at the end of Lonely Street ... " Click to show or hide the answer
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn: sung by Frank Sinatra and child actor Eddie Hodges in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head; won the Oscar for Best Original Song; lyrics include an ant moving a rubber tree plant Click to show or hide the answer
Traffic's biggest hit (UK No. 2, 1967); also No. 2 in 1984, credited to "Neil" Click to show or hide the answer
Sung by Margaret Thatcher in a pre–recorded video for the 1990 Brit awards – she claimed it was her favourite pop song Click to show or hide the answer
New Seekers hit 1971, based on a Coca Cola advert first aired earlier that year: Oasis were successfully sued for plagiarising it in Shakermaker Click to show or hide the answer
Song from Les Misérables that made Susan Boyle famous Click to show or hide the answer
UK No. 34 for Betty Everett in 1968; No. 1 for Cher in 1991 (with the title and subtitle swapped round) after she sang it in the film Mermaids Click to show or hide the answer
1984 Queen single: controversial video featuring band members in drag (said to be a parody of Coronation Street) – banned by MTV in the USA until 1991 Click to show or hide the answer
Whitney Houston: best–selling song by a female artiste in the 20th century Click to show or hide the answer
Donovan hit (UK No. 5 in 1968): final verse was sung in French ("Dort–elle? Je ne crois pas ... ") Click to show or hide the answer
Chuck Berry song included on the Voyager 1 "Golden Record" (1977) Click to show or hide the answer
Written by Harry Lauder following the death of his son, in action in World War I; adopted by fans of Birmingham City FC as their "anthem", during their FA Cup run in 1956 (they lost the final) Click to show or hide the answer
The Cure's first single – inspired by Albert Camus's The Outsider Click to show or hide the answer
Abba song that gave its name to Alan Partridge's spoof chat show Click to show or hide the answer
Kylie Minogue's first hit – No. 2 in 1962 for Little Eva Click to show or hide the answer
Words written in 1858 by Adelaide Anne Proctor, and published in The English Woman's Journal; tune composed in 1877 by Sir Arthur Sullivan, at the deathbed of his brother Fred Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Top 10 hit for The Toys (1965): based on the Minuet in G, traditionally attributed to J. S. Bach, but established in the 1970s to be by his contemporary and fellow German, Christian Petzold Click to show or hide the answer
Song from the Threepenny Opera (words Bertholt Brecht, music Kurt Weill) that was a hit for Bobby Darin in 1959 Click to show or hide the answer
1975: replaced a song whose lyrics prominently featured its title as UK No. 1 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Originally written in French by Claude Francois and Jacques Revaux as Comme d'habitude Click to show or hide the answer
U2's first UK hit single (reached No. 10 in 1983): inspired by the Polish trade union movement Solidarity Click to show or hide the answer
Dolly Parton and Sheena Easton had hits in 1981 with two different songs of the same title (both reached No. 1 in the USA) Click to show or hide the answer
Co–written and recorded by Red Foley (1933); sung by Elvis Presley at his first public performance (1945, aged 10); also Clinton Ford's first UK hit (No. 27, 1959) Click to show or hide the answer
Recorded by Whitney Houston as the theme of the 1988 (Seoul) Olympics Click to show or hide the answer
Hit for Yazoo in 1982 and The Flying Pickets in 1983 Click to show or hide the answer
Title of hit songs for Cliff Richard (1964), Chris Rea (1986, 1988) and York (2004) Click to show or hide the answer
Enya's only UK No. 1 – often referred to as Sail Away Click to show or hide the answer
Popular Neapolitan song, composed 1898, whose tune was used for Elvis Presley's It's Now or Never and also for Just One Cornetto Click to show or hide the answer
Elton John hit, said to have been inspired by Billie Jean King and named after her tennis team Click to show or hide the answer
No. 1 in the UK for Frankie Goes to Hollywood (Dec 1984) and Jennifer Rush (Oct 1985), and in the US for Huey Lewis & the News (Aug 1985 – UK top ten): same title, three different songs Click to show or hide the answer
Jackie Paper was the best friend of Click to show or hide the answer
1981 Blondie single: features an extended rap section, often named as the first rap single to achieve mainstream chart success Click to show or hide the answer
Based on Psalm 137; written by Jamaican reggae band The Melodians (1972), popularised by Boney M (1987) Click to show or hide the answer
Recorded in March 1951 by Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, featuring Turner on piano; credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (Brenston was the saxophonist and occasional singer with the Kings of Rhythm); named after an Oldsmobile car, introduced 1949; often described as the first rock 'n' roll record. Essentially written by Turner and Brenston; the decision to credit Brenston seems to have been made by producer Sam Phillips Click to show or hide the answer
Oasis's second single (No. 11 in 1994), for which Noel Gallagher was successfully sued to the tune of £270,000 for plariarism (of I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing) by the New Seekers Click to show or hide the answer
Traditional American folk song, about a fur trader's love for the daughter of the eponymous (real–life) Native American chief – who also shares his name with the river that flows into the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Click to show or hide the answer
1966 hit for the Beach Boys (US No. 3, UK No. 2): based on a Bahamian folk song transcribed in 1916 by the English poet and writer Richard Le Gallienne (and included in Carl Sandburg's 1927 collection The American Songbag) Click to show or hide the answer
Palindromic title by a palindromic band (no. 1 in 1975) Click to show or hide the answer
Booker T. & the MGs hit used as theme for BBC TV cricket Click to show or hide the answer
Originally recorded in 1932 by Ambrose and his Orchestra, with vocals by Sam Browne, and by the Henry Hall BBC Dance Orchestra with vocals by Val Rosing; used in the 1985 version of the musical Me and My Girl; caused controversy in 2014 when a listener complained after veteran BBC Radio Devon presenter David Lowe played the Ambrose version, not realising that it contained the lyric "He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu". Lowe was forced to resign, and although later offered his job back, he did not return Click to show or hide the answer
Said to have been written for (i.e. about) Erin, the daughter of Don Everly, who was briefly married to the man that wrote and sang it (W. Axl Rose) Click to show or hide the answer
Theme song of the Harlem Globetrotters Click to show or hide the answer
D:Ream hit, used by Labour as a theme for the 1993 election campaign Click to show or hide the answer
Rosemary Clooney hit of 1954, revived by Shakin' Stevens in 1981 Click to show or hide the answer
David Guetta's 2011 No. 1: title is a metal with the atomic number 22 Click to show or hide the answer
Uses words from Ecclesiastes 3 (written by Pete Seeger, recorded by The Byrds) Click to show or hide the answer
No. 1 for Jimmy Young (1955), Robson & Jerome (1995), Gareth Gates (2002); also No. 14 for the Righteous Brothers (1965), which was the version used in the film Ghost (1990). Various other versions have also charted Click to show or hide the answer
Originally by the Drifters (US No. 4, UK No. 45, 1964); UK No. 22 for Tom Tom Club (1982); UK No. 2 for Bruce Willis (1987) Click to show or hide the answer
Aerosmith song, more famously covered by Run–DMC, inspired by an old music hall joke (reportedly after Aerosmith saw a version of it in Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein) Click to show or hide the answer
UK No. 2 hit of 1967, said to have been partly inspired by Terence Stamp and Julie Christie ("Terry meets Julie, Waterloo station, every Friday night") Click to show or hide the answer
US recording inspired by the UK's Do They Know it's Christmas – written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones, released in March 1985 Click to show or hide the answer
1969 single by Max Romeo, banned by the BBC Click to show or hide the answer
Often said to be based on Bach's music; in fact, although reminiscent of Sleepers Awake and/or Air on a G string, not actually based on either Click to show or hide the answer
Title given by US folk group The Weavers (featuring Pete Seeger) to a song written and originally recorded in South Africa in 1939, entitled Mbube (also known as The Lion Sleeps Tonight) based on a mis–hearing of its backing vocal line, "uyimbube" (oo–YIM–boo–beh) meaning "you're a lion" – also used by Karl Denver in his 1962 hit version Click to show or hide the answer
Song from the musical Carousel, became a football anthem (for Liverpool FC) after it was a No. 1 hit for Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1963 Click to show or hide the answer

People

Layla: inspired by Click to show or hide the answer
Subject of Sting's Englishman in New York Click to show or hide the answer
Hollywood actress whose eyes were mentioned in the title of Kim Carnes's first and biggest hit (UK No. 10, US No. 1, 1981) Click to show or hide the answer
British actor, eponymous subject of a Madness hit (UK No. 11, 1984: "And all I wanted was a word, a photograph ... ") Click to show or hide the answer
Hollywood actor who was waiting, according to the title of a Bananarama hit (UK No. 3, 1984) Click to show or hide the answer
Hollywood actor, eponymous subject of a Gorillaz single (UK No. 4, 2001) Click to show or hide the answer
You're in my heart: written by Rod Stewart for Click to show or hide the answer
American Pie (Don McLean): "the day the music died" was the death of (dedicatee of the album of the same name, but not the song) Click to show or hide the answer
Historical character, eponymous subject of an OMD hit (UK No. 5, 1981 – opening line: "A little catholic girl who's fallen in love ...") – also mentioned in, and named in the subtitle of, their follow–up (Maid of Orleans – UK No. 4, 1982) which was the biggest–selling single of 1982 in Germany Click to show or hide the answer
Dancing with Mr. D (Rolling Stones): said to have been inspired by Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
US–born actress, eponymous subject of Mika's biggest hit (2007: No. 1 in the UK and several other countries; in the US it went gold but only reached No. 57) Click to show or hide the answer
Philadelphia Freedom (Elton John) was about Click to show or hide the answer
Oh Carol: written by Neil Sedaka for Click to show or hide the answer
Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday and U2's Pride (in the name of love) were both written for Click to show or hide the answer
Killing me softly with his song (Roberta Flack) was about Click to show or hide the answer

Bee Gees songs

Five songs written by the Bee Gees, that were taken to the top of the charts by other artists.

No. 1 in 1986 for Diana Ross, with the Bee Gees singing backing vocals Click to show or hide the answer
No. 3 for the Bee Gees in 1977; No. 1 in 1996 for Take That Click to show or hide the answer
No. 1 for the Bee Gees in 1979; No. 1 in 1998 for Steps (as a double–A side with original track Heartbeat) Click to show or hide the answer
No. 1 in 1980 for Barbra Streisand (not recorded by the Bee Gees) Click to show or hide the answer
The Bee Gees' 5th single release, in 1968 – reaching No. 8; became Boyzone's first No. 1, in 1996 Click to show or hide the answer

Songs used in Levi's Ads

Bad Company Click to show or hide the answer
The Clash Click to show or hide the answer
Eddie Cochran Click to show or hide the answer
Marvin Gaye Click to show or hide the answer
Screamin' Jay Hawkins (Tom Waits song) Click to show or hide the answer
B. B. King Click to show or hide the answer
Ben E. King Click to show or hide the answer
Steve Miller Band Click to show or hide the answer
Muddy Waters Click to show or hide the answer
The Ronettes Click to show or hide the answer
T. Rex Click to show or hide the answer
Percy Sledge Click to show or hide the answer

And finally ...

Don McLean, when asked what American Pie meant Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18