Old English songs that are famous and popular among the English culture and tradition are not just famous but are still fetching millions of dollars every year. There are already millions of songs available in the registry and millions yet to come. But there is a saying that goes as “Old is Gold”. The 20th century music and lyrics have seen tremendous popularity and influence among the western culture. Even today many songs are still remembered and sung during Christmas and birthdays. Which are those evergreen English classics which are grossing high even today? Here is the list of top ten highest grossing English songs ever.
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10. Christmas Song (Mel Torme)
Christmas Song is a classic written by Mel Torme in 1945. It has been subtitled as “Merry Christmas To You”. According to Mel Torme, this classical melody was written during a hot blistering summer. This is the most-performed Christmas song ever composed. Mel Torme was with his writing partner Bob Wells on the day this song was written. They both together wanted to pen down something cool on a hot day. Hence, this greatest Christmas classic was born.
9. Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison, Bill Dees)
Oh, Pretty Woman originally released in 1964 as “Pretty Woman” is a classic by Roy Orbison written by himself and Bill Dees. This amazing song stayed on number one spot for three weeks on Billboard Hot 100. Billboard also acknowledged this song as the number four song of 1964. It was released as a single and it was the second single by Roy Orbison to top the U.S. chart. Seven million copies of the song was sold worldwide. It was also the third single by Roy Orbison to top the UK Singles Chart. The wonderful lyric is about a man who sees a pretty woman walking by. The man praises her beauty and wants to join her. Finally at the end of the song the woman turns and joins him.
8. Every Breath You Take (Sting)
Every Breath You Take is an English classics written by Sting and is from the rock band The Police. The song is from the album Synchronicity. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight long weeks. The song also topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks. It was nominated for three Grammy Awards at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards. On the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stones magazine, the song was ranked at no. 84. Song was written by Sting in 1982 after his separation from Frances Tomelty. The wordings of the song are classical and describe a possessive lover.
7. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Haven Gillespie, Fred Coots)
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town is Christmas Song written by Haven Gillespie and Fred Coots that was first sung in the year 1934 at Eddie Cantor’s radio show. This classic melody has become an instant hit and millions of copies were sold in the year. This song has become a tradition all over the world during the Christmas season. This historical song has seen many artists and compositions by many singers. Way through the century many record artists have contributed to its music, lyrics and style. Even today it fetches more than $16 million.
6. Stand By Me (Ben E King, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
Stand By Me is a classical composition originally by singer cum songwriter Ben E King. This song is the soundtrack of the 1986 film ‘Stand By Me’. There are over 400 different versions of the song by different artists. In 2015, the original version of the song by King was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being significantly cultural, traditional and historical just under five weeks before King’s death. Even today, the historic composition fetches more than $17 million.
5. Unchained Melody (Alex North, Hy Zaret)
This 1955 song has become the most recorded song of the 20th century with over 500 versions of the song by many artists in many different languages. The song was written by Hy Zaret and the music is by Alex North. North used the music as a theme for the little-known prison known as “Unchained” and hence the name. But the song doesn’t include the word “unchained”. This famous song recorded by different artists is still famous and is one of the highest grossing evergreen melodies. It has been placed at number 365 on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
4. Yesterday (John Lennon, Paul McCartney)
Yesterday is a song by the rock band the Beatles in the year 1965. The song is written by Paul McCartney and is credited as Lennon-McCartney. It was first issued under the album UK album Help!. It was released under the U.S. album Yesterday and Today. The song topped the American chart and was in the top 10 of the British charts. The song boasts itself as the most recorded song in the history of recorded music. It was voted as the best song of 20th century in the BBC’s radio 2 polls in 1999. The song was voted as the number 1 pop song by MTV and Rolling Stone by music experts. According to Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) the song was performed over seven million times in the 20th century alone. Even today it creates revenue of more than $19m.
3. You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Phil Spector)
You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling is a song written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector that was released in the year 1964. The song topped the U.S. Singles chart and UK Singles chart. According to Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI), this song is the most played song on televisions and radios in the United States through the 20th century. This song is ranked at number 34 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone. The song was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by RIAA.
2. White Christmas (Irving Berlin)
According to the Guinness World Records, this song sung by Bing Crosby is the bestselling single of all time with more than 100 million copies. The other versions of the song have sold over 150 million copies. The exact time when Irving Berlin wrote the song is unknown. Some believe it was written in 1940 at La Quinta, California. The song is about reminiscing the old-fashioned Christmas settings. The song released in 1942, stayed on top of the Billboard charts for eleven weeks. In 1999, National Public Radio included the song in the list of 100 most influential American musical works of the 20th century. Today, the song is estimated to be generating more than $20m.
1. Happy Birthday (Hill Sisters)
The world famous Happy Birthday song is also known as Happy Birthday to You is written by Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill. According to Guinness World Records in 1998, “Happy Birthday” is the most recognized song in English. The song has been translated to at least 18 languages. The melody of the song was derived from the song “Good Morning to All”. Warner/Chappell Music currently holds the copyrights of the song. According to the copyrights holder, the song cannot be sung for profit without giving royalties to the company. Close to $30 million are earned from this famous song each year.