Somewhere Only We Know

Album: Hopes and Fears (2004)
Charted: 3 50

Songfacts®:

  • This song describes a secretive place where a couple feel truly happy and can express their feelings when they feel as though they are parting. It was written by Keane piano player Tim Rice-Oxley, who told the UK paper The Mirror: "It's about being able to draw strength from a place or experience you've shared with someone. I think it's an idea a lot of people can relate to." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lilly - Alpine, NJ
  • Rice-Oxley told Billboard: "I was thinking of something like David Bowie's 'Heroes,' which you drive along to a really rocking beat. I really like the bridge and it's great fun to play live. It was one of the first things we recorded for the album."
  • This was Keane's first release on Island Records, who gave them a big publicity push. Hopes and Fears became the second best selling album of the year in the UK, and in the US, Keane were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy award. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Rice-Oxley grew up in the Sussex small town of Battle and his two Keane bandmates also come from the same vicinity. He told The Independent May 7, 2010 that the song is based on "the area around Battle." The pianist added: "Because Richard [Hughes, Keane's drummer] and Tom [Chaplin, vocalist] I've known my entire life, so a lot of my memories involve kicking a football around there when we were 12. I love going to the pub on a summer's evening, taking a long walk home through the fields and the woods, putting the world to rights. That's my idea of heaven. Especially when you've known the people for years and years. I think that was why we struggled so much with what success brought. We felt that we had so much history that was so precious that was suddenly put into a much less pure context. It's a great feeling to have those close friends for so long."
  • This was the Keane song that convinced Tom Chaplin that he should leave the songwriting duties to Tim Rice-Oxley. He told Spinner UK: "I've always had faith in Tim's songs, and what we do as a band, but you always get that extra special feeling when you know something is really good. I think 'Somewhere Only We Know' was more of a track than 'Everybody's Changing.' That and 'Bedshaped.' 'Cos I was still trying to write songs for the band at that point, and I just thought, 'There's no way I'm in this league. I should just put my pen and pad down.' Especially 'Somewhere Only We Know' particularly, because you think the chorus is done, and it's a false chorus."
  • This returned to the Top 40 of the UK singles chart in late November 2013. Its revival was prompted by a cover of the song by Lily Allen for retailer John Lewis' Christmas commercial as well as the release of Keane's retrospective, Direct Hits.
  • This was used in the movies He's Just Not That Into You (2009) and LOL (2012).

    It was also used in these TV shows:

    Glee ("Born This Way" - 2011)
    Cold Case ("Joseph" - 2006)
    Grey's Anatomy ("The First Cut Is The Deepest" - 2005)

Comments: 5

  • Karl from Ingatestone, United KingdomI understand why Paris Hilton did the Keane episode of SNL. Anyway, enough about her, Hopes And Fears is up there with The Unauthorized Biography Of Reindhold Messner and Siamese Dream.
  • Steven from Chicago, IlI heard this song when they performed on SNL with Paris Hilton hosting. I f--kING LOVE THIS SONG.
  • Tessa from Washingtonville, PaListening...... no singing yet. Ok here we go.....
    I'm liking it... very nice.
  • Tiffany from Little Rock, ArThis is my first Keane song and I love it. It makes me cry if I listen to it in the right mood, because it's so sweet and personal.
  • Dylan from Denver, CoI have heard Tim say that it's not about anyone in particular. 'Somewhere Only We Know' can mean any place that is special to you, anywhere you can escape to, but it doesn't have to be a physical place: it can something like a memory, or just the smell of the sea. It's much more ambiguous in that sense.
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