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Don't Look Back In Anger

by

Oasis



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Noel Gallagher wrote the line, "Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face" because when he was a kid, his mother used to make him stand next to the fireplace and have photos taken. He always looked grumpy in these photos, so she told him to take that look from off his face. (thanks, Nick - southampton, England)
Guitarist Noel Gallagher sang lead on this instead of their normal vocalist Liam Gallagher. (thanks, Craig MacDonald - Blair, Scotland)
The line "So I start a revolution from my bed" is a tribute to John Lennon.
The piano at the beginning is taken from John Lennon's "Imagine." (thanks, Dominic - Pittsburgh, PA, for above 2)
Noel gave Liam the choice of which song to sing as he threatened he was singing lead on either "Don't Look back in Anger" or "Wonderwall" (After listening in studio, Liam said he would take the latter, which was really the one Noel wanted as it's a profession of his love to then friend-turned-girlfriend Meg). This is according to Paolo Hewitt's Getting High - The Adventures of Oasis. (thanks, Holly - Edmonton, Canada)
Noel Gallagher (from Uncut magazine August 2007): "We were in Paris playing with The Verve, and I had the chords for that song and started writing it. We were due to play 2 days later. Our first-ever big arena gig, it's called Sheffield Arena now. At the sound check, I was strumming away on the acoustic guitar, and our kid (Liam Gallagher) said, 'What's that you're singin'?" I wasn't singing anyway, I was just making it up. And our kid said, 'Are you singing 'So Sally can wait'.'' And I was like - that's genius! So I started singing, 'So Sally can wait."'

"I remember going back to the dressing room and writing it out," Noel continued. "It all came really quickly after that. (The title) 'Don't Look Back In Anger' just popped out. We wrote the words out in the dressing room, and we actually played it that night, in front of 18,000 other people. On acoustic guitar. Sat on a stool. Like an idiot. I never do that now."

"When we were coming off recording 'Wonderwall' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger,' I was originally gonna sing 'Wonderwall,' and Liam said, 'I wanna sing it!' And I was like, 'I'm singing one of them, so you take your pick. He chose 'Wonderwall' and I chose the other one," Noel added. "Then it came out as the single. And on that (BBC TV) series Our Friends In The North - the last ever one where they all meet up, when they're all older and have all got kids, and they're all alcoholics - that was the music for the end credits. And I still haven't seen that episode, but loads of people have come up to me, saying, 'Man it was so powerful.' And it kind of took a life of its own after that. It took over from 'Wonderwall' in England as our most famous song. And it's the biggest song of the night now, when we play it live. Which must do Liam's head in - as he doesn't get to sing it - but it makes me feel pretty good."
The song was written exactly 40 years on from when a play called Look Back In Anger by John Osborne was produced in London's west end. The main character, called Jimmy Porter, captured the angry and rebellious nature of the generation. There could be some irony in this - maybe what Oasis are trying to say is that they are the new generation of rebels in Rock. (thanks, Alek - Nottingham, England)
Patrick Macnee, who played John Steed in the 1960s television series The Avengers, appears in the video. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Drummer Tony McCarroll, one of the founding members of Oasis, was asked to leave the band in 1995. Noel Gallagher told Q magazine June 2009 that the realization that McCarroll wasn’t a good enough drummer came from his contribution to this song. He explained that “he couldn’t even play in a straight line” the drum fill that goes into the last chorus.
Oasis
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Comments (43):

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- nabiha, karachi, Pakistan
This song is in part a tribute to John Lennon, since both Gallagher brothers are big fans of The Beatles, and specially John's. They didn't rip off anything, they're just "quoting him" on the intro. And the "So I start a revolution from my bed" line is not from any song. It's referring to John & Yoko's honeymoon/press conference, where they would just sit in bed for a week and have journalists and such come in and interview them, using their fame to get their peace message out to the world.
- Matias, Cordoba, Argentina
The chorus is the chord progression from Pachelbel's Canon in D, the intro is Imagine by John Lennon, the choral melody sounds similar to "All the Young Dudes", but "Don't Look Back in Anger" as a metaphor for anal sex...??? C'mon now. Is the "Soul slides away" just another way to talk about lube?
- craig, crystal river, MD
i would like this sung at my funeral, by gordon rennie.
- steven, edinburgh, United Kingdom
I love this song and their song Wonderwall. I can play them on the guitar. Don't Look Back in Anger was the first song by them I learned to play. I kinda get sad hearing this song because it seems like this song is about leaving all your friends behind; leaving your loved ones behind. I think about when I graduated high school when I hear this song.
- Colin, Dover, DE
All The Young Dudes is nabbed to use in Stand By Me's chorus - nothing to do with Don't Look Back In Anger.
- Fman, Birmingham, United Kingdom
on the 'fact',that Noel wanted wonderwall to say he loved his gilfriend - well, its not true! wonderwall is about you being in a bad situation and your imaginary friend coming to save you!
- Jared, Devon, England
Erik... little richard did sing long tall sally but the beatles covered it
- Catherine, Glasgow, England
OMG there is a lot of guessing youre all doing.

One could even say it is about anal sex. (hey sally, dont look back in anger!)

hahah just kidding. It is a tribute for lennon thats for sure, theyre big fans of the beatles. Sally is no one, just fit the lyrics.
- Guilherme, Pelotas, Brazil
Great song. The song is actually about fantasising. Playing with yourself/jerking off. Slip inside the eye of your mind suggest exploring your fantasies. Read the lyrics carefully. "The brains I had went to my head" is actaul head that he received from his fans. He is actually talking to his Dick and his Dick asks him not to look back in anger. Sally is just a general female name.
- Steve, Bridgetown, Other
i love this song

isn't the main chord
cannon D???
- leela, chicago, IL
okay, wow, i really have NO clue where some of you people get your information from!
dont look back in anger.. yes, the beginning is from john lennon's imagine.. so what? it sounds amazing. then , oasis took the lyrics "start a revolution from my bed..." which john lennon was working on writing before he died.. SALLY IS NOT REAL! and lyla isnt real either.. theyre not cousins but noel says theyre sisters making a point that neither of them are real. the song is about him being on the road all the time and not spending time with his love. look on wikipedia.
screwed up lyrics for sure! really something to think about.
- ashley, toronto, Canada
its about him and another girl and it didn't work out and now hes got another girl and the old ones pissed off
- Joe, Chicago, IL
Also the name Sally came from when Liam misheard Noel singing the original lyrics to the song. Dean, Manchester
- Dean, Manchester, England
who cares if the opening lines sound like imagine. I personally think this song is way better, I could listen to it on repeat forever. I'm actually sick of Imagine
- olivia, Perth, Australia
i seen on some program that critics were constantly saying that oasis stole beatles melodys and thats why they use the imagine bit at the start to kinda hit back at the critics. but i also think it was like a homage to john lennon with the whole "gonna start a revolution from my bed" lyric. xXx
- amy, liverpool, England
Jesse - Noel admitted in an interview in 1996 that the opening chords were nicked from "Imagine", and that the song was inspired by John Lennon
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
Patrick Macnee from the "Avengers" cameos as the driver/butler in the video.
- Paul, Redditch, England
The song about the dogname isn't cap... its "Elsa", when noel recorded the song in the studio, there a dog there. (see definitely maybe cd)
- david, Roeselare, Belgium
Noel once got into a cab, and the driver asked him to sign an autograph for his daughter, Sally. She was distraught because she had heard rumors that her favourite band oasis were breaking up. Thats were Sally came from.
- Shane, Kildare, Ireland
If you read the lyrics carefully, this song is about a groupie being told to forget the rape she was victim of by some band members. Read the lyrics again before flaming me.
- Denis, Montreal, Canada
"Take me there:the oasis story" gives details of the songs words. The Sally of the song does not exist. Never has. Never will. Just words. Live with it. - There is a name that came from a dog in one oasis song - but it isnt Sally. Also the 'you said the brains I had went to my head' come from a John Lennon bootleg that Noel said he would nick.- Jon, UK
- Jon, Norwich, England
maybe you're right. but think about it. Don't look back in anger is on the album Christiane F. And if you'll been watching the movie about Christiane F, you can relate it to Don't look back in anger..
help me figure it all out..
- Sofie, Odense, Denmark
in an interview with Noel, he said 'Sally does not exist. It just fitted the lyrics'. Also, when asked about Lyla, he says 'She's Sallys sister', so i think that means that she doesn't exist either.
- helen, lancashire, England
Noel said Sally is Lyla's cousin
- BONES, New Plymouth, New Zealand
alright and VH1 also aired a special in which Gweneth Stefani said she was a "goddess"....just cause somone says it on VH1 doesn't make it true...
- Mark, Miami, FL
Actually, Erik in Tempe, the Beatles DID cover "Long Tall Sally," with Paul on vocals. Look it up right here on SongFacts.com. Little Richard was one of their biggest influences. It was recorded at Abbey Road in 1963 and released May 11 1964. A live version appears on "Live at the Hollywood Bowl;" it's the very last song and wraps up the concert. In addition, it was the title song of an entire Beatles LP released exclusively in Canada.
- Laura Schneider, Eatontown, NJ
One of the women who appear in the video, became Allan White's girlfriend. They met during the recording of the video-clip.
- Federico, La Coruña, Spain
Kevin... Little richard sung long tall sally, not the beatles.
- Erik, Tempe, AZ
Sally is Sally Cinnamon from the Stone Roses song. Noel talks rubbish in interviews to keep interviewers on their toes, the dog story was part of that rubbish. Watch the recent webcast if you don't believe me.
- Alan, Cambridge, England
I love this song. It's my favorite ..
- Sofie, Odense, Denmark
Ummmm.....Same key, same tempo, AND same chords. Yes, they ripped off Imagine.
- Amanda, Memphis, TN
Noel did not rip off 'Imagine' The chords are the same... C and F... but that's hardly enough. Noel would call it paying homage... not nicking.
- jesse, peterborough, Canada
I think Sally is a reference to Long Tall Sally, the last song that the Beatles played together. So Sally can wait is another way of saying the end can wait.
- Kevin, st. james, NY
Sally could be the girl 'Christiane F' ?
- Sofie, Odense, Denmark
they got the name Elsa from in a dog,but that is for a different song, supersonic. Sally is just random i guess. sounds good thought, good tune i say
- eric, covina, CA
Sally was the name of a dog in the studio, they needed a name so they took the dog's name.
- Martijn, Arnhem, Netherlands
i dont think that "sally" is a real person. i think the meaning of the song is a little confusing. i think it might be that sally is a very serious person and takes to heart everything that people think. noel is saying that sally needs to find inner peace and just say "f*ck everyone else" and be happy doing what she really wants.but she cant so she just has to sit back and watch everyone else be happy while she is miserable and untrue to her feelings. i think sally also realizes that her unhppiness is her fault. thats what i kinda think, but i still feel like im missing some points.. anyone care to help me out? ive going crazy trying to figure out what this song is all about
- Randi, Linton, ME
Appeared in Season 1 Episode 11 of Cold Case on CBS. The name of the episode is "Hubris."
- Jonathan, Natchitoches, LA
Anyone know who the "Sally" in the song is?
- Catherine, Glasgow, England
I heard, the song is abot car driving. When you get a hit from the car behind you- don't look back in anger.
It's not easy but it works!
- Stephanie, Aurich, Germany
The opening chords are more than loosely based on those from John Lennon's "Imagine"
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
A guest on VH1's "Four on the Floor" claimed he got Noel Gallagher to admit that the chorus is ripped off from "All the Young Dudes."
- john, seattle, WA
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