Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is the most radio played song of the 21st century

Posted on 17 July 2019
By Alyssa Zanon
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Snow Patrol’s song Chasing Cars has been crowned the most-played song of the 21st Century on UK radio stations.

“’I’ve never been able to figure out entirely why it’s been such a success,” said the band’s lead singer, Gary Lightbody.

“It is one of the most played songs around the world don’t quite know why. It’s simple, it’s heartfelt, it’s honest – these are all things that appeal to people.”

Released in 2006 by the Northern Irish band, the song never reached the top reaches of the UK charts, having peaked at number six on the UK singles chart.

Lightbody was presented with a special award marking the achievement on July 16 by music licensing body PPL, which tracks all the music played on radio and television in the UK.

Speaking to BBC news, Lightbody looked back on the creation of the ballad in a wine-fuelled, all-night recording session.

He said: “It came spontaneously. 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.”

Asked to explain the appeal of Chasing Cars he said: “It’s an emotionally open song and it’s a simple song. But it’s also unabashedly a love song, and we don’t really have any others.”

Snow Patrol’s ballad achieved notoriety after it appeared on the soundtrack of season two finale of the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

In second place on the list of the most played songs on radio is “I’ve Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, followed by Pharell William’s “Happy”.