Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Alright, StillReleased: 2006Charted:
In this song Lily laughs at her ex-boyfriend, DJ Lester Lloyd, as he attempts to win her back after the terrible way he treated her in their relationship and the negative impact this subsequently had on her.In the Sun newspaper of September 19, 2006 she describes performing the song at the Secret Garden Party: "The festival was well good, particularly as Lester (my ex, who I wrote Smile about, and subsequently sold his story to the papers) had a tent positioned directly opposite the main stage. So he and his new girlfriend had no option but to watch me perform to a couple of thousand people singing Smile back to me. Oh, it's the little things eh!" (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
The organ part was sampled from the song "Free Soul" by '60s Reggae group The Soul Brothers.
This was Allen's first single, and it was an instant hit in her native England. She performed the song on several TV appearances and other promotional events, including Top of the Pops and Saturday Night Live. At the 2007 South By Southwest (SXSW) music fest in Austin, Texas, Allen declared that she was "So sick of this song" before performing it.
Lily was an inexperienced songwriter when she sat down with pop hitmakers Iyiola Babalola and Darren Lewis (Nicole Scherzinger, Shakira) to write this. She explained in Daniel Rachel's The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters: "I remember writing the verse and the chorus and then them going, 'OK, we just need a middle eight,' and I was like, 'I don't know what that is.' So I had to run out of the studio and call my manager. I was so embarrassed."
After her manager explained the middle eight was "that piddly bit in the middle that's not the verse and not the chorus but kind of links the two," she came up with a series of la, la, la's to fill the space.
In the video, Allen takes revenge on an ex-boyfriend (played by EastEnders actor Elliott Jordan) in various ways, including hiring gangsters to beat him up and spiking his coffee with laxatives. The clip was directed by Sophie Muller, who's known for her collaborations with Gwen Stefani, Shakira, Beyonce, and others.