The Richest Songs in the World

89 min

Since popular music became a global industry, a handful of songs

have outshone, outperformed and outlasted all the others...

"Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve

That song has so much magic that it's scary.

These songs have sold more copies, had more cover versions,

and been played more often, in more places

than any other songs in the world.

It has been played 10 million times on American radio.

I'm going to reveal for the first time the ten songs

which have earned the most money for the people who wrote them.

That's a lot of money.

Where's it all gone?

Ten great songs,

each with its own extraordinary story of how it was created...

I finished the guitar part and everybody stood up

and cheered and clapped. That was it.

Behind these songs is the untold story of music royalties and how

music industry deals have sometimes made songwriters multi-millionaires

whilst leaving others fighting for their share in court.

Always happens, every band, they look round and they notice

that one of them has got a bigger house than the other ones.

And they think, "Why them? A-ha, you wrote the songs."

Because that is where the money is.

# Cos it's a bittersweet symphony this life... #

We're at the beginning of a journey to find the world's richest songs,

the songs that have earned the most money in royalties.

Industry analysts have looked at the available data

and we have compiled a top ten countdown.

Some of these songs will be the ones you'll expect.

But there will be big surprises along the way, as well,

I can promise you that. So let's get cracking, shall we?

Here's number ten.

This song was written in California in the 1940s.

It's one of the oldest songs on the list.

I first heard it as a child and have heard it every year since.

I reckon most of us have.

But not so many people know the unlikely circumstances

in which this global hit was written.

On a blisteringly hot day in July 1945,

songwriter Mel Torme drove to Toluca Lake, near Los Angeles,

to the home of his writing partner, Bob Wells.

And found a surprise in the sitting room.

There on the piano stand on a spiral path is this chestnuts

roasting on a open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose,

Yuletide carols sung by a choir and folks dressed up like Eskimos.

And eventually, Bob appears from the background, you know,

and I held up the paper and said, "What is this?"

and Bob Wells said, "You know what, Mel? I just can't cool down today.

"And I just thought if I could write a few lines like this it

"would just somehow mentally cool me down."

And that's really all it was.

My dad was the one who said, "No, no, there's something here."

And literally 24 minutes later, The Christmas Song was written.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mel Torme.

# Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

# Jack Frost nipping at your nose... #

As well as writing songs, Mel Torme was a hugely successful singer.

He recorded four versions of The Christmas Song himself

between 1954 and 1992.

Torme revealed the secret of his success to Parky.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

You are incredibly musical, you conduct symphony orchestras, even,

- and yet you never had a music lesson in you life?

- No. Never did, no.

- It was just easy, was it?

- No, it wasn't easy, it was...learning to

arrange was done by some process of... I guess you could call it

musical osmosis. I grew a very large pair of ears, much larger than these,

and listened to and admired the people that absolutely

blew my mind away, musically.

One of these people lived not far from where Bob had written

the lyrics, and Mel the music, on that sweltering summer's day.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Richest Songs in the World" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Jan. 2021. <>.

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