Chasing Cars

Album: Eyes Open (2006)
Charted: 6 5
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This tender love song about getting by with just you and your beloved is a band composition with lyrics by lead singer Gary Lightbody, who called it "the most pure and open love song I've ever written."
  • This was used in the TV shows One Tree Hill and Grey's Anatomy, two programs with a penchant for reflective tunes that can ramp up the emotional output of a scene. This exposure was a huge boost to the band in America, where they were still unknown.
  • Frontman Gary Lightbody wrote this in the garden of producer Garret "Jacknive" Lee's cottage one night in "a blur of red wine and Percocet." He says he wrote about 10 songs that night, and when he looked at them the next day nine of them were terrible, but "Chasing Cars" stood out like "a diamond in the s--t."
  • This remains the only Top 40 hit for Snow Patrol in America, but they have had numerous hits in the UK. Lead singer Gary Lightbody is from Bangor, Northern Ireland, and formed the group formed the group in 1994 with Jonny Quinn and Mark McClelland, who he met at Dundee University in Scotland. Their first two albums sold poorly, but their third, Final Straw, sold over 5 million copies in the UK and produced the hit "Run."

    They had several more UK hits, but "Chasing Cars" proved to be their American zenith.
  • "Chasing Cars" topped the Adult Top 40 chart. It arrived in pole position in its 35th chart week, the longest climb to #1 in the history of this tally. The previous longest climb to the summit had been held by Five For Fighting, whose "Superman (It's Not Easy)" rose to the top in its 28th chart week in December 2001.
  • In the UK, this song has won numerous awards. In December 2006, it was voted the Best Song of All time by listeners to UK's Virgin Radio. It was voted as the Best Song of the Decade in a poll by the UK's Channel 4, in December 2009, and Q magazine honored it with their Classic Song Award in 2011.
  • This did better in the Billboard Hot 100 than any other single by a British group in 2006.
  • The music licensing company's music reporting department PPL named this as the most played and used song in the UK of the last decade. Lightbody commented that he believes the success of the song is down to one thing: "I think that the song has worked because it has an emotion that people can relate to," he said. The second and third placed songs in the PPL poll were also released in 2006. They are Take That's "Shine" at two and "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by Scissor Sisters at three.
  • This was the last song to be performed live on BBC's long running music program Top Of the Pops.
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Comments: 41

  • Nichole from Deatsville, AlabamaI choose songs to mean what I can apply to my life. I love to hear this song with my husband, because we choose to believe that it means we will always be together, and no matter what happens, good or bad, we can do it together, and forget the less important things.... If only for a little while. Just an opinion, but LOVE the song.
  • Lynnette from OklahomaAccording to Google: The phrase "Chasing Cars" came from Lightbody's father, in reference to a girl Lightbody was infatuated with, "You're like a dog chasing a car. You'll never catch it and you just wouldn't know what to do with it if you did."
    Hope that answers some questions. Guess you could apply that however you see fit. In my mind, that means he wants that person to lay there with him daydreaming how they wish things could turn out.
    Anyway.. that is how the dog comment started, and then I guess it got twisted up-- like when you play that rumor game "telephone". ;)
  • Andrea from Australia I had never heard of this band or this song until the death of my best friend who suicided; her world was torn apart ( I wont discuss the circumstances) just to say that what had seemed to be her perfect happy life had been torn away from her; she was left feeling vulnerable hurt and lost; as hard as I tried she just withdrew from everyone and everything. Before I knew it she was gone! Organizing her funeral was one of the hardest things I had to do. When I heard this song the lyrics touched me so profoundly I couldn't breathe. It seemed she had chosen to leave this life frozen with what could only be described as her banked up memories of the pleasantness she had left; to this day I can only hope that she has found peace. Chasing cars is a song that I still struggle to listen to every time I hear it. I do however find comfort in knowing that some of those lyrics relate to the last conversation I had with her. Frozen with her ; the beautiful memories before things went sour.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhHeather, looks like we are both right. Further investigation shows that according to Wikipedia, "Chasing Cars" was also used in season 7, episode 18 "Song Beneath the Song" as well! I have not seen the episode, but this is the soundtrack wiki lists for that particular show:
    1. "Chasing Cars" (Original by Snow Patrol)
    2. "Breathe" (Original by Anna Nalick)
    3. "How We Operate" (Original by Gomez)
    4. "Wait" (Original by Get Set Go)
    5. "Runnin' on Sunshine" (Original by Jesus Jackson)
    6. "Universe & U" (Original by KT Tunstall)
    7. "Grace" (Original by Kate Havnevik)
    8. "How to Save a Life" (Original by The Fray)
    9. "The Story" (Original by Brandi Carlile)
  • Camille from Toronto, OhWithout a doubt, "Chasing Cars" was used in a scene with Katherine Heigl in the Season 2 finale of Grey's Anatomy. One website claims it's the top music moment of Grey's Anatomy: [[1. "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol (Episode 2.27, "Losing My Religion") There could have been no better track for the end of the Season 2 finale. Izzie (Katherine Heigl), all gussied up for the prom, goes to Denny's beside, only to discover that he's dead. The other interns find her embracing his body, seemingly in shock. She loses it, and Alex, more friend than suitor at this moment, holds her. Then, she tells the Chief she's quitting. The whole sequence is elegant and heart-breaking, made only more so by this Snow Patrol track, which asks, "If I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?" If only it were so easy. Unsurprisingly, this song became a hit after the episode aired.]]
  • Benton Fraser from Toronto, OnNo! Where the f--k do you get the dog? This is about loving someone whom you can't have.
  • Heather from Patchogue, NyWas this song is the greys anatomy episode that was a musical? (Song beneath a song? i think) When Callie got in a car accident? Nothing to do with Katherine Heigl... Unless it was used twice? But I do know that the actress that plays Callie won a few awards for this episode. One article I read said she had so much emotion and great acting with her 1 eye then anyone else!
    Seriously tho even if you don't watch Greys anatomy, I highly recommend this episode just to see what they did with the music. It's awesome!!
  • Camille from Toronto, OhI agree with Nathan of Riverside, CA who says: If it wasn't for "Grey's Anatomy" this song would not have been as big as it was. I don't know any other songs from Snow Patrol. I don't tune in to Grey's Anatomy. But I know this song was played during a very important and pivotal death scene that Katherine Heigl's character had with the man she loved. I saw lots of TV reporting about this episode, and that's when I first heard the song. I grew to love it.

    My husband and I would listen to it on the car radio while we drove to different football games to see our son in the marching band. It's a song about getting lost in time with the one you love. Needing nothing else at all but each other.Nothing else matters. It seems to fit the Grey's Anatomy episode perfectly, as there seems to be a twinge of sadness to the tune.

    For me, it takes on new meaning in 2011 as I have been diagnosed with stage iv cancer. I may live 10 more years or 2, I just don't know. But I like the idea of losing track of time, and just surrounding yourself with those you love.
  • Jackie from London, United Kingdombest song ever .. dedicated to my beautiful daughter who got me through a very bad year, we still listen to this and have a tear . the words are amazing and was appropriate for what was going on at that time in my life
    "All that I am
    All that I ever was
    Is here in your perfect eyes
    They're all I can see" ......... for my daughter xxxxxxxx
  • Lucy from Portsmouth, United Kingdomi think this is a song about two people who have broken up because their relationship is stale. they still love each other very much but love isnt enough hence the words 'these three words are said too much there not enough' meaning that when they tell each other they love each other they are just in the habit of saying it instead of actually feeling it. its about one person trying to tell the other how they feel and wanting the magic back in there relationship hence 'show me a garden thats bursting g into life' meaning that the person wants too see the other person like when they first met when it was new and fress and then finally saying that if they cant get back to that place and life has eroded them too much they will always love each other and remember how life was with each other when it was good hence the lyrics All that I am
    All that I ever was
    Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

    I don't know where
    Confused about how as well
    Just know that these things will never change for us at all
  • Mark from Rosemeadow, Australiaaccording to 2 local radio stations in Australia the song is about his german sheapher chasing a car and get hit by the car so he wrote the song out of the love for his dog
  • Delilah from Franklin, LaI really like this song. I used to sing this and think of my fiance. This is going to be our song the one we dance to together at the reception.
  • Heimdallr from Lakeland, SwedenI'm glad someone can write a song about love that doesnt sound like the singer wants to devour his or her lover alive
  • James Wilson from Trenton, NjThis is a very underated song by a very underated band. Dennis, Athens, GA if you don't like the song don't listen to it. Actually if you don't like the song then stop wasting other people's time with your dumb post. You might want to try the rant and rave page of the free times. This page is for those of us who DO LIKE THIS SONG so
    stop bieng an idiot and get a life.
  • Kaisi from Shanghai, ChinaReally love this song to death! Snow Patrol is not my favorite band but this song is actually my favourite song! Who can resist such a simple, beautiful, pure song?! I might get tired of some songs after they have been played for many times...but it never happens to Snow Patrol's pieces, especially this very one! Really love it...^^
  • Nathan from Riverside, CaIf it wasn't for "Grey's Anatomy" this song would not have been as big as it was. But it is a very beautiful song about two people in love with each other lost in each other. reminds me of my ex who I was with when this song came out.
  • J from Houston, TxDid anyone ever think that this may be a song about a man and God? Look at the video where he lies in the field, forgetting the world, and stares into the majestic sky as if to be seeking or talking to God. He asks Him to lay with him yet he doesn't know what to say to Him. He asks for His Grace to find himself and then realizes all he ever was, was here in Your "perfect eyes". The only one with perfect eyes is God. Find your soul and who you are meant to be here on earth and don't waste time chasing worldly things like cars and houses.
  • Tori from New Orleans, Lai didnt think it was about a dog b4...but now i totally see how it cud be from a dog's POV!! tht wud be rlly sweet. like if it was about a dog in a shelter wanting 2 find an owner. i think tht cud hold the same meaning as a guy tryn 2 get a girl 2 luv him.
  • Ellen from New York City, NyI think it is about two people having an affair. Talks about being confused and forgetting the rest of the world. Their love is deep and pure and they are unable to be together. Beautiful song.
  • Breba from Albuquerque, Nmthis is such a beyond amazing song. It makes me want to cry because it's so beautiful
    and for the record, this song isn't about suicide or a dog or "Choking the chicken" its about the pure love that two people share. Like Noah and Allie in the notebook.
    Thanks, Snow Patrol, for such an amazing song
  • Akara from Birmingham, AlI'm sorry, but how on earth does anybody get a DOG DYING from this song? Does it mention dogs anywhere in it? No. And suicide? That's even worse. You guys are over-analyzing to a point where it's insane.
    Anyway, this is one of my favorite songs, I love it! It really is a beautiful and pure song. I really like the music video. :)
  • Katie from England, United KingdomThis song was my best friend who passed aways favourite...It means so much to me and brings back so many memories!
  • Satan'slittlehelper from Westbury, NyIt's really a simple song to breakdown. And no it's not about a doggie. It is about love as stated by Gary Lightbody. The way I interpret the song is: It's about two people in love that go into their own little world when they are together and that they only need each other in life. My wife and I are exactly like this song. We don't need anything or anyone to tell us how to live. We live our life the way we want to and when we actually have down time we just lounge around and forget the world around us. Maybe I'm over-analyzing. But it's just an opinion.
  • Luigi from Costa Rica, OtherI think I heard this somewhere else, but can't remember where and it makes a lot of sense to me. Seems like the lyrics are about a dog dying but sang from his perspective, not from his master´s view.
    This part: "All that I am
    All that I ever was
    Is here in your perfect eyes
    They're all I can see"
    Reminds me of the dogs I have had in my life and their unique way of looking into your eyes, think about it and you'll see.
    Perhaps that is not true, but damn, what a great and smart song would be if it were the true meaning.
  • Stike from Aurora, Canadano this is definetly not a song about a dog dying its a love song
  • Russ from Kilkenny, IrelandIs this song about his dog Dying?
  • Stan from Saybrook, IlThis is a great song! I thought it was about a dog. My high school students just told me that I was crazy and that it was just a love song. Anyone else think it was about a dog?
  • Leanne from Dublin, Irelandi love this song!! there is also a great version of it mixed wit stings every step u take! its called every car u chase!! this band are just great for any mood you are in but this song is especially good i love how he he is decribing his love and how he wants to do is be with the person all the time and just be with them and forget everything else in the world- because 2 me thats wat love is!
  • Gill from Montreal, CanadaI think Snow Patrol writes dreamy songs with arrangements that are easy to listen to, if not technically adventurous. Does anyone recognise the city the motorcycle is racing through in the "Open Your Eyes" video?
  • Gladys from Laredo, TxI love Snow Patrol! but I like their old songs more though. their new songs are just to easy for everyone to fall in love with. but i still LOVE them.
  • Jim from Stonerville, Casome of their songs are ok, but snow patrol is one of the most overplayed radio bands ever. chasing cars, you're all i have, shut your eyes, hands open... it gets OLD. plus, i could play the three chords they use in my sleep. all this said, this song isn't bad. it has emotion if nothing else.
  • Margaret from Annapolis, MdI love this song. It makes me feel like going out and finding the perfect person to sing it to all the time. But that will happen, sometime.Anyway, the song is just so powerful and simple, how could you not like it?
  • Adam from Huntington Beach, CaK dont like warn me or anything, but this song is about spanking the monkey. Ya know, choke the chicken, flog the dolphin, beat the meat, have a onesome, etc. etc. I SWEAR. check it out:

    We'll do it all
    Everything
    On our own

    HHHMMMMMM.....



    Lyrics for: Chasing Cars

    We'll do it all
    Everything
    On our own

    We don't need
    Anything
    Or anyone

    Why dont you need anyone? oh yeah...

    Show me a garden that's bursting into life

    I think a "garden" refers to something else...

    Tell me what you guys think about the TRUE meaning of this song...
  • Ryan from NswThe Songs About His Dog Dying. Chasing cars its beautiful song and i guess the dog ment alot 2 him
  • Megan from Nowhere, KyI really like this song, but I think Snow Patrol's other songs are a lot better, namely How to be Dead and Chocolate.
  • David from San Salvador, Caone of the best-not difficult-love rock songs i have ever heard
  • Lolong from Montreal, CanadaGary Lightbody, frontman of Snow Patrol, says it is the "most pure and open love song [he's] ever written." The phrase "Chasing Cars" came from Lightbody's Father, in reference to a girl Lightbody was infatuated with, "You're like a dog chasing a car, You'll never catch it and you wouldn't know what to do with it if you did." -- Answers.com
  • Jess from Melbourne, AustraliaI do think that this song is about love but I dont think that it is as happy as everyone thinks it is. I think that maybe he wants to commit suicide and he want to know that if the girl he likes likes him back.
  • Dennis from Athens, GaThis song blows
  • Patrick from Stl, Mothis song kiks (deleted)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Matt from Coralville, Iathis is an amazing song. its what made me relize just how much i love my girlfriend. We just laid in my friends bed and stared at each other while this song played over and over again. and its the reason we got back together after a really bad week of misunderstanding. shes the one that can always make me laugh and just an amazing person. I love her.
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