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Desert Island Discs: which songs would Brits take with them to a desert island?

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Imagine you’re stranded on a desert island and you only had one song for company. What would it be?

That’s the question we recently asked millions of people of all ages across the UK. The results were surprising (and sometimes hilarious) to say the least!

The song most people would take to their desert island is Queen’s 8 minute epic Bohemian Rhapsody. Widely considered one of the best rock songs ever written, the track’s heartbreaking balladry, legendary singalong bridge and headbanging riffs would be enough to keep anyone entertained.

In second place is Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water, which is ironically what a lot of people would like in a desert island setting (providing that bridge led back home). Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees is third, proving that not even a life of solitude in the middle of nowhere is enough to dampen the British sense of humour.

Rounding out the top five is Hey Jude by the Beatles (presumably for the singalong at the end) and (Everything I Do) I Do It for You by Bryan Adams.

 

Desert island discs: the top ten in full

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  3. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
  4. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  5. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams
  6. Someone Like You – Adele
  7. Fernando – ABBA
  8. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  9. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  10. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran

 

Interestingly, Shape of You was the top choice for both the 16 -24 (featuring in one of every four respondent’s top ten) and 25 – 34 age groups and was 2nd for 35 – 44 year olds, but didn’t feature at all in the older categories. By contrast, Bohemian Rhapsody – the most popular song with 35- 44 year olds, 45 -55 year olds and those over 55 – was ranked 6th by 16 -24 year olds and 4th by 25 – 34 year olds.

Here are the songs each age group would take to their desert island retreat:

16 – 24

  1. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  2. Take Me to Church – Hozier
  3. Love the Way You Lie – Eminem ft. Rihanna
  4. One Dance – Drake
  5. Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  7. Lose Yourself – Eminem
  8. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  9. Someone Like You – Adele
  10. Work – Rihanna ft. Drake

25 – 34

  1. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  2. Someone Like You – Adele
  3. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  5. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams
  6. Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  7. Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
  8. Hello – Adele
  9. What I’ve Done – Linkin Park
  10. Love the Way You Lie – Eminem ft. Rihanna

35 – 44

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  3. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
  4. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
  5. Someone Like You – Adele
  6. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams
  7. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  8. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  9. Hello – Adele
  10. Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler

45 -55

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
  3. Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  4. Fernando – ABBA
  5. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
  6. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  7. Happy – Pharrell Williams
  8. I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
  9. Careless Whisper – George Michael
  10. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

55+

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  2. Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  3. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  4. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
  5. Fernando – ABBA
  6. Candle in the Wind – Elton John
  7. In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry
  8. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
  9. It’s Now or Never – Elvis Presley
  10. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen

Christmas Songs

Given the time of year, it only seemed right that we ask people what Christmas songs they’d take with them too. The results were fairly unanimous, with 46% of people choosing I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard as their Christmas desert island disc.

In fact, people seemed more enthusiastic about choosing the Christmas tunes they wouldn’t take with them. Here’s the top five…

  1. Lonely Pup in a Christmas Shop – Adam Faith
  2. Step into Christmas – Elton John
  3. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
  4. Winter Wonderland – Doris Day
  5. Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard

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