10 Best Snow Patrol Songs
Irish band Snow Patrol have been together for almost 20 years. While the lineup has changed over time, the roster of frontman Gary Lightbody, drummer Jonny Quinn, guitarist Nathan Connolly, bassist Paul Wilson and keyboardist Tom Simpson has remained consistent since 2005. After breaking out with their 2003 album 'Final Straw,' Snow Patrol became a household name, scoring big with their single, 'Chasing Cars.' With a new album in the works, let's look back at the 10 best Snow Patrol songs so far.
‘Just Say Yes’
Taken from Snow Patrol's 2009 compilation album, 'Up to Now,' 'Just Say Yes' marked a change in direction for the Irish rockers. The track features a heavy reliance on electronic synths and sounds, which is a result of the love Lightbody had for dance music as a teenager. 'Just Say Yes' has an interesting origin story, as Lightbody originally wrote it for No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani. She rejected the song, and it went to former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger before Snow Patrol reclaimed the track.
After garnering significant attention with their single 'Run,' Snow Patrol followed up their 2003 hit with 'Chocolate.' As the title implies, the song is a sugary pop number about realizing life is precious and taking a risk on love. “You're the only thing that I love / It scares me more every day / On my knees I think clearer,” confesses Lightbody. Quinn's steady drum beat provides the backbone to this feel-good anthem, making 'Chocolate' No. 9 on our Best Snow Patrol Songs list.
‘You’re All I Have’
Snow Patrol donned their power-pop hats for 'You're All I Have,' the first single from their 2006 album 'Eyes Open.' The daydreaming keys in the beginning burst into an uptempo rock ballad about salvaging a rollercoaster relationship. “You're cinematic razor sharp / A welcome arrow through the heart“, Lightbody sings. “Under your skin feels like home / Electric shocks on aching bones.”
‘Crack the Shutters’
While Lightbody is known as an expert on writing sad breakup songs, he switched gears with Snow Patrol's 2008 album 'Eyes Open.' Second single 'Crack the Shutters' is a piano-infused ballad in the vein of Coldplay. Lightbody refers to the Snow Patrol song as the purest love song he has ever written, and it shows. “It's been minutes, it's been days / It's been all I will remember / Happy lost in your hair / And the cold side of the pillow,” the singer croons fondly. 'Crack the Shutters' might be considered the ultimate spooning song.
No. 6 on our list of Best Snow Patrol Songs sees the band return to their roots and serve up one of their trademark bittersweet melodies. 'New York' is a rousing piano ballad about a couple who can't get their timing right. “If you were here beside me, instead of in New York / In the arms you said you'd never leave / I'd tell you that it's simple and it was only ever thus / There is nowhere else that I belong,” Lightbody muses. The video for 'New York' emphasizes the heartache the musician feels as he drinks alone at the bar while everyone around him is having a great time.
Before Snow Patrol experienced mainstream success with their melancholy anthems, fans in the U.K. bared witness to the early beginnings of the band. 'Starfighter Pilot' a track off of Snow Patrol's debut album, 'Songs for Polarbears,' shows off their grunge side. The spacey single is heavier than what casual fans would be accustomed to, fusing Smashing Pumpkins with the Toadies. Lightbody has admitted to hating the song, but Snow Patrol have subtly added 'Starfighter Pilot' back into their live set for older fans to enjoy.
‘You Could Be Happy’
Regret following a failed relationship is the focus on the Snow Patrol song 'You Could Be Happy,' taken from their 2006 disc 'Eyes Open.' The composition is one of the most simplistic in the band's catalog, and yet it's one of their most effective. 'You Could Be Happy' starts off with haunting, tinkling, ballet-style music, while Lightbody mopes, “You could be happy and I won't know / But you weren't happy the day I watched you go / And all the things that I wished I had not said / Are played in loops till it's madness in my head.” The slight touches of keys and drums flesh out the somber tone of the track.
When Snow Patrol finally broke out with their 2003 album 'Final Straw,' there was still another level the band was destined to reach. They achieved it with their 2006 follow-up, 'Eyes Open,' mainly thanks to the massive single 'Chasing Cars.' The hopeless ballad builds slowly, with Lightbody singing, “If I lay here / If I just lay here / Would you lie with me and just forget the world?” over sparse guitars that eventually give way to a waterfall of melodies appropriate for any primetime TV drama.
'Run' is the song that helped Snow Patrol reach a new audience in 2003. Depending on who you talk to, 'Run' is either about two lovers saying goodbye or a loved one passing away. Lightbody's hushed vocals drape over a wall of guitars during the chorus and the track's climax. “To think I might not see those eyes / Makes it so hard not to cry / And as we say our long goodbyes / I nearly do,” the singer concedes. 'Final Straw' marked the beginning of a long relationship with studio ace Jackknife Lee, who expertly wove the multiple layers of 'Run' into a lush production.
‘How to Be Dead’
'How to Be Dead' is the ideal opening track for a Snow Patrol album. The pleasant chimes and riffs don't get carried away during the course of the tune, and everything falls into place perfectly. While the bridge threatens to turn into something more ambitious, Snow Patrol smartly pull the reins in. Lyrics like, “It seems I've stepped over lines, you've drawn again and again / But if the ecstasy's in, the wit is definitely out / Dr Jekyll is wrestling Hyde, for my pride,” describe the struggle between Lightbody's characters, landing this tune on top of our Best Snow Patrol Songs list.