Jarvis Cocker's Running the World in line for Christmas chart spot

In light of the Conservative election victory, fans have started a campaign to get the explicit song to the festive No 1 spot

A campaign to get Jarvis Cocker’s 2006 single Running the World to the Christmas No 1 spot in light of the Conservative election victory has started with aplomb.

“In light of so much recent election horror, let’s do this, eh?” wrote instigator Darcie Shoenman Molina on Facebook. “Bit of fun to focus on for the next week.”

The song, now a staple of Cocker’s live sets, is a satire of upper-class behaviours that features the chorus: “If you thought things had changed, friend, you’d better think again / Bluntly put, in the fewest of words, cunts are still running the world.”

Cocker has said that all proceeds from sales of the track will go to the charity Shelter. Representatives for the musician told the Guardian that he was unavailable for comment.

In 2011, Cocker told the Observer that he would have loved the track “to have been an international No 1, but radio play was quite difficult for that one”.

While he looks unlikely to beat LadBaby’s I Love Sausage Rolls to the Christmas No 1 spot, he may come close to realising his dream: at the time of writing, iTunes UK ranks the song at No 3 on its streaming and download charts. It is No 2 on Amazon Music and No 1 on 7digital.

A selection of songs that make the charts are played in full as part of the BBC’s UK Top 40 rundown on Friday afternoons. A BBC spokesperson told the Guardian that they could not comment on whether this song will be played prior to the confirmation of this week’s chart placings.

The spokesperson said: “The Official Chart Show and the Christmas No 1 are historical and factual accounts of what the British public have been listening to, and we make decisions about which songs are played when the final chart positions are clear.”

A similar politically motivated campaign pushed a recording of Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead from the Wizard of Oz to the No 2 spot in the wake of Margaret Thatcher’s death in 2013. Radio 1 censored the song in that week’s chart rundown, a decision station controller Ben Cooper said was a “difficult compromise” regarding the balance of respect for a person who had died with issues around freedom of speech.

In September, Cocker said that Running the World “feels even more relevant now”. He told the Guardian: “A strangely common aspect of people that get in power at the moment is that they’re these weird characters – ridiculous people in a way – but people seem to find entertainment in that. And that’s dangerous really. Politics has turned into Game of Thrones and they like all the skulduggery and stabbing people in the back. I can’t see it ending well.”


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

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