Single which ruled airwaves missed top five

A single by Snow Patrol which failed to make the top five in the charts was today revealed as the most widely played song of the past decade.

The money-spinning tune Chasing Cars, which was released in 2006, finished ahead of Take That's Shine.

Figures were compiled by music licensing body PPL from the number of plays on UK radio, TV, online and in public places such as shops.

Chasing Cars peaked at number six in the UK but has taken on a life of its own in terms of airplay and inclusions on TV shows. It has featured on programmes such as Grey's Anatomy and Gavin & Stacey and was named this week as the nation's favourite song of the noughties for a Channel 4 programme.

It has gone on to become a consistent seller, chalking up 94 weeks in the top 75 through download sales.

Snow Patrol frontman and songwriter Gary Lightbody has said of the track's enduring appeal: "I think that the song has worked because it has an emotion that people can relate to."

Two other songs from 2006 take second and third places spots with Shine at two and Scissor Sisters track I Don't Feel Like Dancin' at three.

Take That have showed their enduring appeal as the only act with two tracks in the top 10. Their other entry is the song Rule The World, which was written for the film Stardust.

While the majority of songs were released in the noughties, some tracks have proved to be timeless with 11 released from previous decades in the Top 50 chart. The highest entry comes from Thin Lizzy's The Boys Are Back In Town which was released in 1976 (at number 11), while the oldest was Aretha Franklin's I Say A Little Prayer from 1968 (which figures at number 50).

The most recent year for chart entries is 2007, as the tracks need time to build up sufficient plays to figure in the list.

PPL, which works on behalf of 42,000 performers and 5,000 record companies, processed more than 20 billion seconds of data to compile the chart.

Tim Silver, the organisation's head of music reporting, said: "The noughties has been a decade for great new music and which has been listened to by ever growing numbers of people.

"Just as they love listening to new music, there will also always be a place for golden oldies, evident in our top 50. As we move into the next decade it will be interesting to see how music trends change as well as consumption patterns, and we will accurately capture the data we receive from all our licensees to see how media and usage develops."