I admit it. I’m a stat geek. One of the first things I do when logging on to a computer is to click on the link to the various blog metrics used here just to see what people are browsing this site and what they are searching for to get here.
Intriguingly one of the most common search terms used, amongst the usual variations on spellings of my name, is “I’m not here to say I’m sorry” which normally leads people straight to this page which is actually just a link to audio of me appearing on the radio to talk about the Christmas Number One in 2005.
The lyric is of course taken from the song that achieved the honour that year – ‘That’s My Goal’ by Shayne Ward, he naturally being the victorious X-Factor contestant that year. The searches for the line come from all over the world, hits in the last month arriving from places as diverse as Australia, Canada and South Africa. I can only conclude that people are hearing the song played on the radio and, not knowing what it is or what it is called are searching for its most recognisable lyric in the hope of tracking it down.
‘That’s My Goal’ was also used as a backing track for one of the more dramatic moments on the X Factor show broadcast by ITV on Sunday October 5th. I knew this without even watching the show, for a few minutes after 6.45pm this site registered around 60 different hits from people all searching for – you guessed it – “I’m not here to say I’m sorry” (or variations on the theme).
For completeness (and for anyone else now arriving here after doing such a search) I suppose the full story of the track should be recounted. ‘That’s My Goal’ was penned chiefly by former Cheiron staffer Jorgen Eloffson and produced by regular collaborators Per Magnusson and David Kreuger. Between them the team had an impressive track record in writing the victory songs for reality TV stars. Will Young’s ‘Evergreen’ and Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis’ ‘A Moment Like This’ had also flown from their creative juices. The choice of ‘That’s My Goal’ as the winners song for the 2005 X Factor series was therefore a rather easy one to make, the song doubling nicely as an intense popularist ballad but with also the exact amount of ready made emotion built in for it to serve as the tear-jerking finale to the “journey” that the intended X Factor winner would have been on.
Released on the Wednesday before Christmas it was of course an immediate success, selling three quarters of a million copies in just four days. In total it racked up 1.3 million sales, enough to make it around the 70th biggest selling single of all time in this country.
Clearly the song has an enduring appeal way beyond that initial brief flurry of success. Almost every day it seems someone hears it on the radio and has their heart strings tugged strongly enough to want to track it down from the smallest of lyrical clues. Given its status as a huge seller in this country however, it is perhaps all the more surprising that so many X Factor viewers on Sunday had to go online to track it down after they heard it on TV. As the recent surprise success of the old Faith Hill single has proved though, there is maybe nothing more effective than television at concentrating attention on a song well sung and inspiring people to buy a copy for themselves. Food for thought for those who decided axing Top Of The Pops was a good idea.