Day 360: Brand New Key

Song: “Brand New Key” by Melanie
Reached #1: December 25, 1971 (her first, 3 weeks)

She’s done alright, for a girl…

Let’s get this out of the way first – according to Melanie, there is no coded sexual meaning in this song.  It’s really about a girl getting a pair of quad skates, losing the key (almost immediately), and skating to someone else’s house for help.

Your mileage may vary.

It’s not clear if anyone knew this was a #1 hit at Christmas 1971 – at the time, Billboard really didn’t publicize the Christmas and New Year’s week charts, as their focus was on the annual end-of-year review.  They always did charts (although in some years, the chart didn’t change between Christmas and New Year’s).

Contrast that with the UK, where the Official Singles Chart Christmas-week #1 position has been a source of pride for artists who time single releases to try to be the Christmas Number One.  Often it’s a Christmas-themed song, although it can be a traditional single released for year’s-end.  Most recently, it’s tended to be either a karaoke-show winner release or a song backed by a massive social media campaign…

But over here, Christmas-week hits have sat in the background.  “Brand New Key” was a nice little song, but it never would have gotten the Christmas-week UK honour.

So from here, it’s Merry Christmas, and we’ll gather tomorrow for the hit that generated a landmark lawsuit…

Other songs that reached #1 on Christmas Day:
1965 –
“Over And Over” by the Dave Clark Five (their first, 1 week)
1993 – “Hero” by Mariah Carey (her eighth, 4 weeks)


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