Use Somebody

Album: Only By the Night (2008)
Charted: 2 4
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Frontman Caleb Followill wrote this song about longing for somebody to have a cuddle with while feeling lonely on the road. He said on his band's website: "It's about being far from home."
  • Caleb told Uncut magazine October 2008 the story of the song: "The meat of song was written on tour. When I came up with 'I could use somebody,' I didn't know if I was talking about a person or home or God. I felt immediately that it was a big song, and it scared me away. Then, when we were writing the record, Matthew kept sayin', 'What's that song, man?', and I acted like I didn't know what he was talking about. Then, finally, I went, 'All right, we'll do it,' and as soon as we started playin' it, the producers looked up and said, 'Whoa, that's a good song.' I was like, 'OK.'"
  • Aided by an performance of this song on the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Kings of Leon jumped from #52 to #19 on the June 20, 2009 Hot 100 chart, giving the rock quartet their first top 40 hit.
  • English singer-songwriter Pixie Lott charted in the 2009 UK singles chart with her cover of this song, due to it being a B-side to her #1 single "Mama Do"
  • This topped the Pop Songs/Mainstream Top 40, Alternative Songs Triple A and Adult Top 40 charts. It was the first song to top all four airplay tallies since Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" in 2004-05.
  • Caleb's model girlfriend (and later, wife) Lily Aldridge makes a cameo appearance in the song's music video. The clip was directed by Sophie Muller, the mastermind behind the "Sex on Fire" video.
  • This song won three awards at the 2010 Grammys: Record of the Year, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.
  • Only By The Night was the first ever album to sell a quarter of a million digital copies in the UK.
  • Caleb wrote this song as an apology to his bandmates after a drunken fight. He came up with the tune by speeding up Joe Cocker's Oscar-winning theme song to 1983 movie An Officer and a Gentleman during a soundcheck in Scotland. He said about this song (quoted in Q magazine): "It's got the exact same chords as Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes' 'Up Where We Belong.' It was so immediate that I thought it was terrible. I thought it was a pop song."
  • Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in 2016, Caleb explained that this was one of the songs he wrote at his farmhouse in Tennessee while recovering from shoulder surgery. "In that moment, I became more honest with myself and allowed myself to be vulnerable in my writing," he said. "No longer trying to be a tough guy and admitting I need the people around me - mainly referring to Lily - to get through it all. I wrote it in one sitting, very late."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 22

  • Joshua from Hunker, PaThis song reminds me somewhat of the brain disorder prosopagnosia. the first line talks about the painted faces, where people with prosopagnosia can't remember the faces of people and has to find different ways to notice them. The second line is about the speaker remembering how the person speaks and knows, mapping them to the person they think they are.
  • Joe from Fort Leehigh, NjThis is the Lord's call to his children to have faith and be prepared for his return. We are a confused bunch, looking and searching. Some will be saved, hopefully you are the somebody.
    Isn't it wonderful when, Artist and their lyrics are given that spiritual guidance.
  • Kathy from Mission, TxI love this song and band Went to go see them in Austin Tx they were the s--t wish i was able to meet them im a Singer myself been Singing ever Since i was 8yrs old and im 17yrs old now wish i was Famous like them :(
  • Jessica from Gaithersburg, Mdi completely agree with Matt, Houston, TX and with Camille, Toronto, OH..his voice is soooo passionate and i just have to post a comment to knockout the last comment cause of its negativity...he is NOT off-tune..its the bands of the best bands out there!!
  • Staley from Dallas, TxI don't mind the song itself, but the singer has one of the most annoying voices on the radio right now. He's also off-key virtually every time he sings the title.
  • Stephanie from New Castle, Pai think this song is about someone who needs somebody in his life because maybe he is lonely...
  • Jesse from New Castle, PaThis song is about looking for someone to comfort you. Someone that'll be there for you
  • Steve from New Castle, PaThis is about needing someone else to notice you so you feel accomplished.
  • Stephanie from New Castle, Pareally good song,great lyrics.
  • Tim from New Castle, Pait talks about going through life without any one by his side and in the song he wants someone like you but no one shows up
  • Camille from Toronto, OhThis is one of the sexiest sounding vocals in a song ever. The passionate longing in the singer's voice, the way he emphasises words like "USE somebody" and "MAKE you notice" sounds so...well, yummy!
  • Nicole from Plymouth, MaWhen I get married I plan on using these words on my invitations " You know that I could use somebody, somebody like you and all you know and how you speak countless lovers under cover of the street. You know that I could use use somebody. You know that I could use somebody. Someone like you." I think these are such beautiful lyrics. And to feel that way about another person is just so amazing. Also I love K.O.L they are such a great band. I saw them live back a couple weeks ago in Mansfield Mass. They totally Rocked!
  • Cody from Girard, Panot to contradict but... its also a metaphor for being up on stage looking down at an audience. u can see it in the video
  • Wolfgang from Hawthorne, CaI've been roaming around always looking down at all I see.

    A metaphor for always being high lol.

    Good song though.
  • Sofia from Bangkok, Thailandthis song explains the longing for someone to hold close who is better in everyway than the people around us..someone for away and amazingly me
  • Erik from Galesberg, Australiathis is a great song im not much for modern music but this is good
  • Matt from Houston, TxI kick myself for not writing this masterpiece. awesome song, awesome album. nuff said
  • Alayna from Somewhere, NjThis is my favorite song at the moment. It perfectly sums up my life right now.
  • Adam from Cork, Irelandexcellent song. excellenter album
  • Kelly from Austin, Txfriend, eh? ;) best concert of my life. and the Kings were good, too.
  • Jd from Austin, TxReminds me of my favorite friend when I'm missing her. Saw them in Austin, TX on 10-24-08. AWESOME band!
  • Donna from Edinburgh, ScotlandThis is the fave on this album. Great track.
see more comments

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Classic MetalFact or Fiction

Ozzy, Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest and even Michael Bolton show up in this Classic Metal quiz.

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.

JJ Burnel of The StranglersSongwriter Interviews

JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.