Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Stop All the World NowReleased: 2003Charted:
They say that opposites attract. That's the case in this song: the guy seems to be falling in love with a girl whose personality is opposite of his.
Howie Day wrote the song with Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin, who told us the meaning behind it: "That song lyrically is about people who come together despite being different, and this song, 'Collide,' is about a person who is kind of closed off and insular and not a gregarious person, coming together with someone who is. And that despite being two different types of people, you still come together and find a common ground. And then literally colliding into one another and how life has a way of doing that." (Here's our full Kevin Griffin interview
A big influence on this song is Bruce Springsteen's 1995 track "Secret Garden
," which is about a woman who keeps a part of herself hidden, much like the closed-off character in this song. There are also some musical similarities. "You can hear that descending chord progression and that high G that sustains over the chord changes," Kevin Griffin told us.
Kevin Griffin had the title for this song long before he hashed it out with Day. "I just loved the way 'collide' sounds when you say it and you sing it, so I knew it was a great title," he told us. "Sometimes a great title can also be troublesome, because you've got to make the music and the melody live up to the great title. This was an instance of that, where I could not come up with a song that was as good as the title. I did a rock song and then something else that I can't remember exactly what it was. Then I was writing with Howie and I started playing this kind of descending chord progression, the one from the 'Collide' we all know. I had most of the chorus melody, that main, 'Even the best fall down sometimes.' Howie heard that and was like, 'Oh, hell yes, I'm in.'"
Shortly after singing the line, "Even the wrong words seem to rhyme," Day sings,
I somehow find
You and I collide
Notice that "find" and "collide" don't really rhyme, but then again, sometimes the wrong words seem to rhyme.
This is the only Hot 100 entry for Howie Day. Born and raised in Bangor, Maine, he grew a fan base in New England and released an independent album called Australia in 2000. Signed to Epic, he released Stop All the World Now, which contained "Collide" as well as "Perfect Time of Day" and "She Says," which each got modest airplay on adult contemporary radio. He released one more album on Epic before once again going the independent route in 2011 with an EP called Ceasefire.