Half the World Away

Album: All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend (2015)
Charted: 11

Songfacts®:

  • Originally released by Oasis in 1994 as a B-side to "Whatever," this song first gained mass public exposure when it was used as the theme tune to the BBC comedy The Royle Family.
  • Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora Aksnes (her stage name is just Aurora) recorded a cover of the track for the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert. The commercial tells the story of an elderly man living on the moon.

    Aurora told NME how she ended up providing the soundtrack for the ad: "I was playing a show in England in July, and I think one of the guys from John Lewis was there at my London show and apparently they liked something about me and my band and later we got a mail offering us to record this song – and we did! I really liked the song, so I said yes."
  • The John Lewis Christmas advert is the most hotly anticipated TV commercial of the year in the UK. Soundtracks to John Lewis festive ads in the previous years have featured covers of classic tracks by Taken By Trees, Ellie Goulding, Slow Moving Millie, Gabrielle Aplin, Lily Allen and Tom Odell.
  • Aurora was 19 years old when she recorded the song, the first teenager John Lewis have ever picked to do the job. Gabrielle Aplin was the previous youngest; she was 20 when she recorded "The Power Of Love" for the 2012 'Snowman' ad.
  • Asked what he thought of the cover by BBC Radio 2's Jo Whiley, Oasis guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher lamented that the song "will forever be synonymous with Christmas from now on and, as is well known, it's not my favorite time of year."

    "Having said that," he added, "at least it comes with a cheque, which, believe me, is highly worthwhile."

    "Don't go buying me John Lewis vouchers for Christmas, trying to be a smart arse," he concluded, "inside a card that says 'Noel.'"

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