Monday, January 28, 2019

Musical Monday - There's No One Quite Like Grandma by St. Winifred's School Choir

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: December 27, 1980 through January 3, 1981.

What the hell Great Britain?

There are some things that are inexplicable. This song reaching number one on the U.K. charts is one of those things. Sandwiched in between the John Lennon masterpieces (Just Like) Starting Over and Imagine sits this piece of cloying saccharine like a piece of cold leftover treacle. Once again, I can only say to the entire United Kingdom: What the hell?

Let me be clear on one point: I don't blame these kids for this. For a collection of school age children to song a sickly sweet song about how great their grandmothers are is to be expected. For a school to promote this sort of child choir is also to be expected. The people to blame here are pretty much everyone else in the United Kingdom who decided to make this song a number one hit.

I could possibly understand this song's success if the British music scene was particularly anemic at the time it reached number one, but Lennon's Double Fantasy album was out at this time, and helped produce the three number one hits in the U.K. by Lennon that surround this song (the third was Imagine, which was re-released following Lennon's death and quickly rocketed up the charts). The song wasn't associated with a movie or a television show, and it barely qualifies as a Christmas song. In short, its rise to the top of the musical heap in December 1980 is almost inexplicable. At the very least it kept Stop the Cavalry from reaching number one, so there's that.

But still: What the hell Great Britain?

Previous Musical Monday: (Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon
Subsequent Musical Monday: Imagine by John Lennon

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: (Just Like) Starting Over by John Lennon
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Imagine by John Lennon

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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