The aptly titled ‘lockdown listening list’ has been topped by a Gerry and the Pacemakers’ classic track, as the uplifting lyrics of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” have seemingly struck a chord with listeners looking for hope as the coronavirus crisis intensifies in the UK and many countries are in a state of being ‘locked down’. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other key members of his team also now struggling in the wake of the worrying pandemic, the timeless song is offering inspiration to many as its plays on various Music services have risen by an impressive 150 percent this week.

Forever closely linked with the ambitions and successes of Liverpool football club, the popular tune actually originated as a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical ‘Carousel’. It seems to have found a new purpose now though in these troubling times, fast becoming a global anthem to demonstrate support to medical staff and those affected by the necessary widespread quarantine measures imposed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Radio stations played track simultaneously

The Official Chart Company’s ‘lockdown listening list’ has been devised to reflect the tunes that have surged the most in terms of the number of plays in the past week, with the Gerry Marsden hit’s renewed appeal owing much to many Radio stations playing it at the same time on the 20th of this month.

It is understood that 183 stations in total across Europe in 31 countries played the song in unison, to mark a remarkable feat of co-ordination and purpose. The idea was initiated in the Netherlands by DJ Sander Hoogendoorn of the Dutch 3FM radio station, with both BBC Radio 1 and 2 in the UK demonstrating their solidarity with the concept and following suit.

Other tracks making the top ten

Besides the Gerry and the Pacemakers’ song, the top ten included two songs apiece by Akon (“Locked Up” and “Lonely”) and American rock band REM (“It’s the End of The World as We Know It” and “Everybody Hurts”). John Lennon’s unforgettable “Imagine” took the number 7 spot, whilst the British rock group The Police were also remembered with their song that clearly reflects the social distancing concern for many of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.

Clearly the list is comprised of a mixture of uplifting tunes and semi- apocalyptic overtures, as listeners seek to hold on to crumbs of comfort where they can get them or to simply echo how they are currently feeling, as more stringent limitations on their freedom of movement take effect.

Move back towards radio listening

The chart is compiled using data from Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and other services. There seems to be evidence however, indicating that for the moment at least the use of music- streaming apps has been on the decline whilst the crisis rages on, with people turning back towards radio listening. This switch in allegiance and listening preferences seems to mirror the fact that less people are commuting and being advised to stay at home whenever possible.