This song is about a girl and a boy in a long distance relationship who talk about their future plans of her finishing school and him becoming a famous guitar player.
Kelsi - Princeton, Canada
Delilah is Delilah DiCrescenzo, a steeplechase runner who lead singer Tom Higgenson met through a friend. In an interview with USA Today, Higgenson said: "I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I told her, 'I have a song about you already.' Obviously, there was no song. But I thought it was smooth."
Higgenson didn't get the girl, as Delilah was dating somebody and wasn't interested.
This ballad was a huge hit for Plain White T's, but it is not indicative of their sound, which is usually louder Pop/Punk realm.
Bertrand - Paris, France
Tom Higgenson told Clickmusic that he felt this was possibly the most well-crafted song on the album: "I think I definitely spent the most time on the lyrics with that song. It's a lyric-driven song, so every line was important. It's very exposed and vulnerable, but it's very simple."
Drummer De'mar Hamilton told I Like Music how this song came to be written: "It's an acoustic song that was written about five years ago. It was actually written before I was in the band. But our singer, Tom, met a girl, a real girl, her name was Delilah, and he met her through a friend. Nothing really happened between them but he tried to swoon her a little bit, so he told her he'd written a song about her, but he really hadn't written a song about her. He was just trying to be cute and kind of goofy. And then he actually did go and write a song about her." He added that Tom and Delilah were friends who'd seen each other maybe a total of five times, but they didn't really keep in touch. "But she likes the song."
The song climbed into the American Top 10 the week of June 23, when it advanced 16-6. It then proceeded to move up one slot each week. The 6-5-4-3-2-1 pattern cannot be found with any other #1 song for over 20 years.
Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England
This song took a while to catch on in the UK, where it didn't chart until 2007.
Alice - Bristol, England
This became the first Hot 100 chart-topper for the Hollywood label.
After leaping from #16 to #6 on the US chart, this song moved up one place each week until it reached #1. This 6-5-4-3-2-1 pattern was the most positions a song climbed step-by-step to #1 since Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)
" edged 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 in 1977.
This was nominated for Grammy Awards for Song Of The Year and Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group. Delilah DiCrescenzo attended the ceremony as Tom Higgenson's date on February 10, 2008. The song didn't win, and while it was technically their first date, Delilah made it clear that it was strictly platonic and was still seeing her boyfriend.
Guitarist Dave Tirio added about how the song came to be written: "We still have contact with her every now and then and she is a nice girl and I remember when we met her back in the day Tom just was smitten with her and he was just kind of flirting with her and he was talking about writing a songs about her and she responded by kind of goofing around and saying oh where is my song I want to hear this thing and he kind of had to put his money where his mouth is and he started writing the thing. He got about 4 lines into it and just writing about how she had gone off to school and how much he missed her and what not. Then he kind of spun that into what would you want to say to any girl in your life that you were totally head over heels for, what were all the sings you would want to cram into one little conversations then he kind of channeled that into the song."
Tom Higginson explained to absolutepunk.net
the meaning behind the band's name: "Plain White T's was the best name out of a bunch of really bad names that we thought of. We thought that in a way it stood for something classic, timeless, and always cool; which is also the kind of music we've always tried to make."
The band recorded a new version of this song for Sesame Street with the lyrics changed to teach the letter "T" (get it?). For example:
Hey there that's Timmy
He's a T wearing a T-shirt
And he has a little teacup
On August 7, 2018, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the band was pitching "Hey There Delilah" as a TV series, "a contemporary fairy tale that expands the story within the song."