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Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’ Named As The 21st Century’s Most-Played Song On UK Radio

Singer Gary Lightbody has described the track as “the purest love song” he has ever written.

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Snow Patrol Chasing Cars Most Played UK Radio Song
Photo: Simon Lipton

Snow Patrol’s signature ballad ‘Chasing Cars’ has been crowned the most-played song of the 21st Century on UK radio. The seminal hit failed to reach number one when the Northern Irish rockers first released it in 2006, but its reputation has since been enhanced after featuring in shows including Grey’s Anatomy and a selection of high profile movies.

Singer Gary Lightbody has described the track as “the purest love song” he has ever written, after the band penned it for their fourth album Eyes Open.

Describing how he wrote ‘Chasing Cars’ in the garden of his producer’s home, Lightbody told the BBC: “Jacknife Lee had a studio in the shed of his garden and we went down there with a couple of bottles of wine, and we wrote through the night.

“In fact, we wrote 10 songs that night – and five of them ended up on Eyes Open, so that was pretty much half the album. Normally when you listen back to the music you wrote after a few glasses of wine, you go, ‘Ah well, better luck next time’. But that particular evening, [we] gathered a lot of good stuff.”

He added: “The lyrics for that song all came that night. They just came out onto the page. And that’s how I used to write – with just a flow. They would generally just sort of come out, and I wouldn’t edit, for better or worse.

“So with ‘Chasing Cars’, it was just what was happening at that moment in my life. I was in love. So it was a true, true representation of what was going on.”

While Snow Patrol reigned supreme, the second and third spots were taken by more upbeat tracks – namely Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Gotta Feeling’ and Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ in the second and third spots.

Peter Leather, the chief executive of music licensing company PPL, said: “Chasing Cars’ is a song that has become a popular anthem, securing huge success across radio, in public and especially TV, where its huge appeal has led to its use in many programmes and especially Grey’s Anatomy.”

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