If you’ve ever seen “Love Actually,” you’ll remember those scenes where Billy is hoping that his rip-off of “Love is All Around” will be the Christmas number one and wondered, “What is the big deal about a Christmas number one?”
In the U.S., I have no idea what song is currently number one on the charts and haven’t even heard a chart show on the radio since Rick Dees was doing that kind of show on the radio (and I will not reveal how long ago that was!)
And yet, in the U.K., this tradition is alive and well and a Christmas number one is still considered quite prestigious (since it tends to be the busiest time for record sales). This year’s Christmas number one? “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” the Simon and Garfunkel classic re-recorded by the Justice Collective, which is raising money for the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who were crushed to death from overcrowding at Hillsborough football stadium in 1989. Justice Collective includes Sir Paul McCartney, Melanie C, Robbie Williams and more.
Have a listen!
And by comparison, here’s this year’s Christmas number one in the U.S.: “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars.