Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody: Chasing Cars was one of 10 songs written in a few hours

Gary Lightbody with the award for Most Played Song of the 21st century
Gary Lightbody with the award for Most Played Song of the 21st century
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Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has said he wrote the band’s hit song Chasing Cars in the space of a few hours on a “particularly good night”, along with nine other songs.

The alternative rock band’s ballad has been crowned the most-played song of the 21st century.

The anthem failed to reach number one when the band released it in 2006, but it featured in TV shows and a number of movies.

“I was in the studio with our producer and I wrote 10 songs in a night, in a few hours, and five of those songs ended up on Eyes Open, which is the album Chasing Cars is on,” he told BBC Breakfast.

“And by the way, that’s the first and only time that’s happened – the hit rate is normally not that good. Normally I’d write 10 songs and none of them I’d ever show or play to anybody. That was a particularly good night.”

On Tuesday Lightbody was presented with a special gong by music licensing company PPL to mark the song’s incredible success.

“It’s amazing but, when I wrote it in 2006 ... I mean there’s no possible way of knowing it would even endure this long, never mind be the most played song on the radio. It’s extraordinary,” he said.

The 43-year-old Co Down man, who has previously described the track as the “purest love song”, said that he is still friends with the person he wrote it about.

He added that Chasing Cars still resonates with Snow Patrol fans at live shows.

“We’re very lucky to have a lot of songs people sing along to, but that is a particularly loud sing-along,” he said.

“It changes every night with the audience that you play it to, but it’ll always get a reaction, that’s for sure.”

Chasing Cars was the last song performed live on Top Of The Pops.