1 I HAVE A DREAM/SEASONS IN THE SUN (Westlife)
It's a happy holiday in every sense of the word this week as for the first time in exactly 52 weeks not one brand new track enters the Top 40, release dates having been planned either for last week (in time for the Christmas chart) or the next few weeks as part of the new year clearout. Consequently even though the survey period for this listing was the final frantic week of shopping before Christmas Day, the Top 40 singles just juggle themselves around like a well-shuffled pack of cards.
This reshuffle hasn't affected matters at the top end however and it means Westlife extend their lead over Cliff and spend a second week at Number One. Believe it or not, this equals their longest run at the top to date as of their other three Number One singles in 1999 only their debut Swear It Again managed more than seven days at the summit.
On a side note I'm always entertained by the way there is one thing more than any other that seems to enrage the readers of this little corner of this fine site and that is misattributing the nationality of particular artists or writers. Previously the general rule was that claiming a Canadian chart star was American would result in a stream of emails to me from people taking it as a personal insult or an affront to their national dignity. Believe me, though that is nothing compared to the rage of the entire state of Belgium which arrived in my mailbox last week when I overlooked one crucial aspect of my research and called Jacques Brel a Frenchman. Remind me never again to cast such a slur on the reputation of the man who can rank as Belgium's second most noted chart performer - behind Plastique Bertrand of course.
Actually whilst we are on the subject of corrections, claiming that Westlife's single is only the fourth cover version to become Christmas Number One in the last 20 years was slightly wrong as it is of course the fifth - the others being Only You (1983, Flying Pickets), Always On My Mind (1987, Pet Shop Boys), Do They Know It's Christmas (1989, Band Aid II) and I Will Always Love You (1992, Whitney Houston). I was actually waiting for some observant soul to point out too that Cliff Richard's Mistletoe And Wine was hardly a new song when it topped the yuletide listings in 1988 given that it was first written for a TV production of The Little Match Girl which had aired in the early 1980s.
4 MR HANKEY THE CHRISTMAS POO (Mr Hankey)
Christmastime is clearly always a good one for South Park singles. Exactly a year ago Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls ascended to the Number One position and this week Mr Hankey The Christmas Poo leaps four places to claim a place in the Top 5. In doing so the single (perhaps incredibly) becomes the highest charting Christmas single since Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You peaked at Number 2 in December 1994.
20 KEEP ON MOVIN' (Five)
The further down the chart we go, the more surprising the movements become. Five benefit slightly from a flood of gift buying it appears, their former Number One single climbing back up four places, a full eight weeks since it debuted at Number One and started the downward trail it has been following ever since.
21 WILL 2K (Will Smith)
This climb isn't so hard to explain of course, Will Smith's new year party single experiences a rise in sales (possibly one which will continue next week too) and rises five places although this is still not enough to make it the Top 40s biggest climber of the week.
28 BLUE (DA BA DEE) (Eiffel 65)
Yes, believe it or not, the Top 40's highest climbing single is this one, Eiffel 65's former Number One single which has been on the chart since September. This week Blue celebrates its 15th week on official release and rises up a full eight places to claim its highest chart placing since the start of December.
38 GENIE IN A BOTTLE (Christina Aguilera)
Just to continue the trend, the third former Number One single to climb the chart this week is Christina Aguilera's debut hit. Genie In A Bottle in its 12th week on the chart rises two places to preserve the place in the Top 40 it was in danger of losing last week.
39 LIFT ME UP (Geri Halliwell)
Finally, on this always most bizarre of charts, Geri Halliwell deserves plaudits for being this week's only chart entry although admittedly Lift Me Up is merely a re-entry, the single climbing three places from the Number 42 position it occupied last week. Needless to say of course the single is a former Number One.