Seventeen-Year-Old Rage Against the Machine Anthem Is England’s No.1 Christmas Song

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Each year at this time, the dentally-challenged citizens of England engage in what we've always found to be a hilarious social experiment: Namely, hundreds of thousands of people pay good money to support their favorite musicians efforts to achieve the No. 1 song in the country at Christmas time. Last year, dueling cover versions of Leonard Cohen's ode to the power of orgasm, "Hallelujah," competed for the annual honor; the winner ended up being an X-Factor contestant named Alexandra Burke, someone we'd never heard of before or heard from since. This year, however, the battle was fought between 2009 X-Factor winner Joe McElderry's cover of a Miley Cyrus song — sadly, not "Party In The U.S.A." — and "Killing In The Name Of," a 17-year-old track from Rage Against the Machine. Assuming you haven't read the headline, you'll never guess who won.

For those of you who graduated high school with passing grades in reading comprehension, you were no doubt able to discern that Rage earned the top slot. Over 500,000 people downloaded the Guitar Hero II song, topping Simon Cowell's latest protégé by some 50,000 copies. In a statement, Rage had this to say about the movement to snub Simon Cowell that originally began on Facebook, a movement that drove their positively ancient song to the top of the charts:

Rage Against the Machine is honored to have been drafted by this historic grassroots campaign to make our song ‘Killing in the Name’ the No. 1 song on the UK Christmas Week pop chart ... While there are many lessons that can be drawn from this historic upset, the main one is this: that ordinary people, banding together in solidarity, can change ANYTHING, be it the pop charts or the world.

Moral of the story? Yes, that's right, you too have the power to affect the lives of millionaires by buying any pop single you want, be it something hokey like a cover of a power ballad originally released as a single by an equally disposable teen icon just nine months ago or something slightly less hokey, like a song whose refrain goes "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me." Hmmm, what do you think the odds are that the English comprehend that they just did the exact opposite of what that particular song is advocating? Either way, Merry Christmas, one and all!

So here it is, Merry Xmas ... but Joe's not No.1 [The Sun]