Don't Look Back In Anger

Album: (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
Charted: 1 55
Play Video


  • Noel Gallagher wrote the line, "Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face" because when he was a kid, his mother used to make him stand next to the fireplace and have photos taken. He always looked grumpy in these photos, so she told him to take that look from off his face. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Southampton, England
  • Guitarist Noel Gallagher sang lead on this one instead of their normal vocalist, Liam Gallagher. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Craig MacDonald - Blair, Scotland
  • The Beatles - and especially John Lennon - were a huge influence on Oasis, and that influence is perhaps most apparent in this song. The piano intro was taken from Lennon's "Imagine," and the line "So I start a revolution from my bed" is a reference to the sing, who staged a famous "bed-in" to promote peace.

    Noel told interviewer Daniel Rachel (The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters) that he borrowed the line "the brains I had went to my head" from Lennon's tape-recorded notes for a memoir he was planning to write before his death.
  • Noel gave Liam the choice of which song to sing as he threatened he was singing lead on either "Don't Look back in Anger" or "Wonderwall" (After listening in studio, Liam said he would take the latter, which was really the one Noel wanted as it's a profession of his love to then friend-turned-girlfriend Meg). This is according to Paolo Hewitt's Getting High - The Adventures of Oasis. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Holly - Edmonton, Canada
  • Noel Gallagher told the story behind this song in an interview with Uncut magazine, August 2007: "We were in Paris playing with The Verve, and I had the chords for that song and started writing it. We were due to play two days later. Our first-ever big arena gig, it's called Sheffield Arena now. At the sound check, I was strumming away on the acoustic guitar, and our kid (Liam Gallagher) said, 'What's that you're singin?' I wasn't singing anyway, I was just making it up. And our kid said, 'Are you singing 'So Sally can wait?' And I was like - that's genius! So I started singing, 'So Sally can wait.'"

    "I remember going back to the dressing room and writing it out," Noel continued. "It all came really quickly after that. (The title) 'Don't Look Back In Anger' just popped out. We wrote the words out in the dressing room, and we actually played it that night, in front of 18,000 other people. On acoustic guitar. Sat on a stool. Like an idiot. I never do that now."

    "When we were coming off recording 'Wonderwall' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger,' I was originally gonna sing 'Wonderwall,' and Liam said, 'I wanna sing it!' And I was like, 'I'm singing one of them, so you take your pick. He chose 'Wonderwall' and I chose the other one," Noel added. "Then it came out as the single. And on that (BBC TV) series Our Friends In The North - the last ever one where they all meet up, when they're all older and have all got kids, and they're all alcoholics - that was the music for the end credits. And I still haven't seen that episode, but loads of people have come up to me, saying, 'Man it was so powerful.' And it kind of took a life of its own after that. It took over from 'Wonderwall' in England as our most famous song. And it's the biggest song of the night now, when we play it live. Which must do Liam's head in - as he doesn't get to sing it - but it makes me feel pretty good."
  • The song was written exactly 40 years on from when a play called Look Back In Anger by John Osborne was produced in London's West End. The main character, called Jimmy Porter, captured the angry and rebellious nature of the generation. There could be some irony in this - maybe what Oasis are trying to say is that they are the new generation of rebels in rock. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alek - Nottingham, England
  • Patrick Macnee, who played John Steed in the 1960s television series The Avengers, appears in the video. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Drummer Tony McCarroll, one of the founding members of Oasis, was asked to leave the band in 1995. Noel Gallagher told Q magazine June 2009 that the realization that McCarroll wasn't a good enough drummer came from his contribution to this song. He explained that "he couldn't even play in a straight line" the drum fill that goes into the last chorus.
  • Speaking to Radio X's John Kennedy for a special program celebrating his life and work, Noel Gallagher said he feels this song was given to him. "I don't ever sit there and think that I wrote that, you know, the Oasis songwriter explained. "I think it came from somewhere else. I think it was a song that was there somewhere, and if I hadn't have written it, you know, Bono would have written it. You know, it's like those great songs, 'One' and 'Let It Be' and yeah, I did just compare myself to Paul McCartney there. You know, they're there. If they fall out the sky and land on your lap, then lucky you."
  • The song became an anthem of solidarity after the Manchester terrorist attack. Three days after the suicide bomber killed 22 people at the Manchester arena, people gathered in the city centre to observe a minute of silence in honor of the victims. Following the silence, the crowd started singing this tune in an act of camaraderie.
  • The song features one of Noel Gallagher's more tender lyrics.

    Stand up beside the fireplace
    Take that look from off your face
    You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out

    "St Patrick's Day every year my Mam would take a picture of us and send it back to my Grandma in Ireland," Gallagher recalled. "It would always be beside the fireplace. It was just a council house with a little gas fire. She would say, 'Stand up there beside the fireplace while I take a picture of you.' There's a lot of childhood memories in those first few albums."

Comments: 43

  • Nabiha from Karachi, PakistanHey great stuff, thank you for sharing this useful information and i will let know my friends as well.sending flowers to germany|send flowers france|valentine day flower delivery NewZealand
  • Matias from Cordoba, ArgentinaThis song is in part a tribute to John Lennon, since both Gallagher brothers are big fans of The Beatles, and specially John's. They didn't rip off anything, they're just "quoting him" on the intro. And the "So I start a revolution from my bed" line is not from any song. It's referring to John & Yoko's honeymoon/press conference, where they would just sit in bed for a week and have journalists and such come in and interview them, using their fame to get their peace message out to the world.
  • Craig from Crystal River, MdThe chorus is the chord progression from Pachelbel's Canon in D, the intro is Imagine by John Lennon, the choral melody sounds similar to "All the Young Dudes", but "Don't Look Back in Anger" as a metaphor for anal sex...??? C'mon now. Is the "Soul slides away" just another way to talk about lube?
  • Steven from Edinburgh, United Kingdomi would like this sung at my funeral, by gordon rennie.
  • Colin from Dover, DeI love this song and their song Wonderwall. I can play them on the guitar. Don't Look Back in Anger was the first song by them I learned to play. I kinda get sad hearing this song because it seems like this song is about leaving all your friends behind; leaving your loved ones behind. I think about when I graduated high school when I hear this song.
  • Fman from Birmingham, United KingdomAll The Young Dudes is nabbed to use in Stand By Me's chorus - nothing to do with Don't Look Back In Anger.
  • Jared from Devon, Englandon the 'fact',that Noel wanted wonderwall to say he loved his gilfriend - well, its not true! wonderwall is about you being in a bad situation and your imaginary friend coming to save you!
  • Catherine from Glasgow, EnglandErik... little richard did sing long tall sally but the beatles covered it
  • Guilherme from Pelotas, BrazilOMG there is a lot of guessing youre all doing.

    One could even say it is about anal sex. (hey sally, dont look back in anger!)

    hahah just kidding. It is a tribute for lennon thats for sure, theyre big fans of the beatles. Sally is no one, just fit the lyrics.
  • Steve from Bridgetown, OtherGreat song. The song is actually about fantasising. Playing with yourself/jerking off. Slip inside the eye of your mind suggest exploring your fantasies. Read the lyrics carefully. "The brains I had went to my head" is actaul head that he received from his fans. He is actually talking to his Dick and his Dick asks him not to look back in anger. Sally is just a general female name.
  • Leela from Chicago, Ili love this song

    isn't the main chord
    cannon D???
  • Ashley from Toronto, Canadaokay, wow, i really have NO clue where some of you people get your information from!
    dont look back in anger.. yes, the beginning is from john lennon's imagine.. so what? it sounds amazing. then , oasis took the lyrics "start a revolution from my bed..." which john lennon was working on writing before he died.. SALLY IS NOT REAL! and lyla isnt real either.. theyre not cousins but noel says theyre sisters making a point that neither of them are real. the song is about him being on the road all the time and not spending time with his love. look on wikipedia.
    screwed up lyrics for sure! really something to think about.
  • Joe from Chicago, Ilits about him and another girl and it didn't work out and now hes got another girl and the old ones pissed off
  • Dean from Manchester, EnglandAlso the name Sally came from when Liam misheard Noel singing the original lyrics to the song. Dean, Manchester
  • Olivia from Perth, Australiawho cares if the opening lines sound like imagine. I personally think this song is way better, I could listen to it on repeat forever. I'm actually sick of Imagine
  • Amy from Liverpool, Englandi seen on some program that critics were constantly saying that oasis stole beatles melodys and thats why they use the imagine bit at the start to kinda hit back at the critics. but i also think it was like a homage to john lennon with the whole "gonna start a revolution from my bed" lyric. xXx
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesJesse - Noel admitted in an interview in 1996 that the opening chords were nicked from "Imagine", and that the song was inspired by John Lennon
  • Paul from Redditch, EnglandPatrick Macnee from the "Avengers" cameos as the driver/butler in the video.
  • David from Roeselare, BelgiumThe song about the dogname isn't cap... its "Elsa", when noel recorded the song in the studio, there a dog there. (see definitely maybe cd)
  • Shane from Kildare, IrelandNoel once got into a cab, and the driver asked him to sign an autograph for his daughter, Sally. She was distraught because she had heard rumors that her favourite band oasis were breaking up. Thats were Sally came from.
  • Denis from Montreal, CanadaIf you read the lyrics carefully, this song is about a groupie being told to forget the rape she was victim of by some band members. Read the lyrics again before flaming me.
  • Jon from Norwich, England"Take me there:the oasis story" gives details of the songs words. The Sally of the song does not exist. Never has. Never will. Just words. Live with it. - There is a name that came from a dog in one oasis song - but it isnt Sally. Also the 'you said the brains I had went to my head' come from a John Lennon bootleg that Noel said he would nick.- Jon, UK
  • Sofie from Odense, Denmarkmaybe you're right. but think about it. Don't look back in anger is on the album Christiane F. And if you'll been watching the movie about Christiane F, you can relate it to Don't look back in anger..
    help me figure it all out..
  • Helen from Lancashire, Englandin an interview with Noel, he said 'Sally does not exist. It just fitted the lyrics'. Also, when asked about Lyla, he says 'She's Sallys sister', so i think that means that she doesn't exist either.
  • Bones from New Plymouth, New ZealandNoel said Sally is Lyla's cousin
  • Mark from Miami, Flalright and VH1 also aired a special in which Gweneth Stefani said she was a "goddess"....just cause somone says it on VH1 doesn't make it true...
  • Laura Schneider from Eatontown, NjActually, Erik in Tempe, the Beatles DID cover "Long Tall Sally," with Paul on vocals. Look it up right here on Little Richard was one of their biggest influences. It was recorded at Abbey Road in 1963 and released May 11 1964. A live version appears on "Live at the Hollywood Bowl;" it's the very last song and wraps up the concert. In addition, it was the title song of an entire Beatles LP released exclusively in Canada.
  • Federico from La Coruña, SpainOne of the women who appear in the video, became Allan White's girlfriend. They met during the recording of the video-clip.
  • Erik from Tempe, AzKevin... Little richard sung long tall sally, not the beatles.
  • Alan from Cambridge, EnglandSally is Sally Cinnamon from the Stone Roses song. Noel talks rubbish in interviews to keep interviewers on their toes, the dog story was part of that rubbish. Watch the recent webcast if you don't believe me.
  • Sofie from Odense, DenmarkI love this song. It's my favorite ..
  • Amanda from Memphis, TnUmmmm.....Same key, same tempo, AND same chords. Yes, they ripped off Imagine.
  • Jesse from Peterborough, CanadaNoel did not rip off 'Imagine' The chords are the same... C and F... but that's hardly enough. Noel would call it paying homage... not nicking.
  • Kevin from St. James, NyI think Sally is a reference to Long Tall Sally, the last song that the Beatles played together. So Sally can wait is another way of saying the end can wait.
  • Sofie from Odense, DenmarkSally could be the girl 'Christiane F' ?
  • Eric from Covina, Cathey got the name Elsa from in a dog,but that is for a different song, supersonic. Sally is just random i guess. sounds good thought, good tune i say
  • Martijn from Arnhem, NetherlandsSally was the name of a dog in the studio, they needed a name so they took the dog's name.
  • Randi from Linton, Mei dont think that "sally" is a real person. i think the meaning of the song is a little confusing. i think it might be that sally is a very serious person and takes to heart everything that people think. noel is saying that sally needs to find inner peace and just say "f*ck everyone else" and be happy doing what she really wants.but she cant so she just has to sit back and watch everyone else be happy while she is miserable and untrue to her feelings. i think sally also realizes that her unhppiness is her fault. thats what i kinda think, but i still feel like im missing some points.. anyone care to help me out? ive going crazy trying to figure out what this song is all about
  • Jonathan from Natchitoches, LaAppeared in Season 1 Episode 11 of Cold Case on CBS. The name of the episode is "Hubris."
  • Catherine from Glasgow, EnglandAnyone know who the "Sally" in the song is?
  • Stephanie from Aurich, GermanyI heard, the song is abot car driving. When you get a hit from the car behind you- don't look back in anger.
    It's not easy but it works!
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesThe opening chords are more than loosely based on those from John Lennon's "Imagine"
  • John from Seattle, WaA guest on VH1's "Four on the Floor" claimed he got Noel Gallagher to admit that the chorus is ripped off from "All the Young Dudes."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

Carl Sturken

Carl SturkenSongwriter Interviews

Hitmaker Carl Sturken on writing and producing for Rihanna, 'N Sync, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Donny Osmond, Shakira and Karyn White.

Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MG's, Blues Brothers)

Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MG's, Blues Brothers)Songwriter Interviews

Steve Cropper on the making of "In the Midnight Hour," the chicken-wire scene in The Blues Brothers, and his 2021 album, Fire It Up.

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.