“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol


TV used to be king, so much so that one episode of a network drama could make a song go 5x Platinum. “Chasing Cars” is a song by Northern Irish-Scottish alt-rock band Snow Patrol. Released on June 6th, 2006 as the second single from their fourth studio album, Eyes Open, the song was the biggest hit for the band selling nearly seven million units in the US and UK.


Chasing Cars still 1

Taking the question of “If I lay here…” to new heights.


This track is a slow-building ballad that asks to just take a moment and pause the world around you. The lyrics aren’t very complicated but the chorus does a great job of both slowing down and building, which gives it an epic quality. This is probably why the song was chosen for its most famous moment: an appearance during the second-season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. It is not an overstatement to say that the use of this song here catapulted it into mega-hit status. The song went from outside the iTunes Top 100 to number 1 only a few hours after the episode aired, and ever since, this track has been associated with sad montages of TV drama finales.


Chasing Cars still 2

Gary Lightbody lies down next to his white low top chucks.


The music video begins with Snow Patrol’s lead singer Gary Lightbody sitting alone in a diner. He’s having coffee as he sings the opening of the song, but as the first chorus comes in he lies down on the floor of the diner. The video then cuts to later that night where Gary is walking down a busy city street. He is walking in some pearly white chucks as he sings the second verse. He arrives at a crosswalk and, as the second chorus comes in, lies down again. This time we see everyone walk around him and traffic is held up. This setup happens three more times: once at Union Station in Los Angeles, again at the top of a hill overlooking Interstate 5, and finally in a hotel bed. They really took the “If I lay here…” line literally for this music video and it creates an unintentional gag when Lightbody lays down every time he says the line. This video was an MTV and VH1 staple at the time so it has become a classic, but it is a very repetitive video that is unintentionally funny.


Chasing Cars still 3

The video is unrealistic because no one honks at him to get out of the way.


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