This hymn to lost love and regret was described by Adele as: "It's me being hopeful for a relationship that's very much over. The sort of relationship you hate when you're in it, but miss when you're not."
Adele explained to the Sun newspaper January 18, 2008 that "Chasing Pavements" is about splitting up with her ex and having her heart broken for the first time: "That song is about should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there? I was only with him for four months but when I signed my record deal I had to write an album, as I hardly had any songs, so I wrote about him."
She then revealed: "I couldn't write songs for ages because I found it really hard writing songs for fun or writing them because someone had invested a lot of money and time in me. I just couldn't do it. And then I met my ex-boyfriend and it was great to begin with and then it was really sh---y. And then I wrote about ten songs in about five weeks. I love him still and I got an album out of him. I used him more than he used me. And he loves it. It's not bitter. He loves it when the song comes on the radio. He says: 'It's about me.' And I'm like, 'It's a song about heartbreak, you fool!'"
Adele told Q magazine May 2008 that the song's lyrics were inspired by an argument with a boyfriend in a London West End bar, after which she stormed out and began running down Oxford Street. She added, "He didn't chase after me! So I was running, just looking at these big wide pavements stretching in front me." Two days later she wrote this song.
Adele performed this on Saturday Night Live
in October 2008. Sarah Palin, who was running for Vice President, made an appearance on the show, giving it a huge ratings boost and lots of exposure in the States for Adele.
Bertrand - Paris, France
At the Grammy Awards in 2009, Adele won for Best New Artist, and this song won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She performed this song at the ceremony.
Adele co-wrote this with songwriter Francis "Eg" White, who has also collaborated with Will Young ("Changes
"), James Morrison ("You Give Me Something
"( and Duffy ("Warwick Avenue
"). White, who also produced the track, recalled to The Daily Telegraph
May 21, 2009: "Adele came in, she said, 'I want to write a big, hit, slushy ballad.' I said 'You came to the right man, let's nail it.'"
The phrase "Chasing Pavements" is not common, and Adele used it to indicate a hopeless endeavor. In the United States, there was some speculation that the phrase meant chasing gay men, and that the song was about being gay. At the Mercury Music Awards in London, Adele addressed the issue, saying, "Some weirdo on the Net wrote that 'Chasing Pavements' was about being gay, which isn't true at all. The guy wrote it on Urban Dictionary, which I've used for years, and 'chasing pavements' was never on there before."
Adele's former boyfriend demanded a slice of the royalties from 19, after learning several of the tracks were inspired by their break-up. She told British newspaper The Sun, "For about a week he was calling and was deadly serious about it. Finally, I said, 'Well, you made my life hell, so I lived it and now I deserve it.' He really thought he'd had some input into the creative process by being a p---k. I'll give him this credit - he made me an adult and put me on the road that I'm traveling."