"How to Be Dead" is the 4th (5th including the re-issue of Spitting Games) and final single by Snow Patrol from their album Final Straw. It was released in 2004, slightly remixed by Chris Lord-Alge from the album version.
The song is slow-tempo, with lyrics detailing a conversation between a couple.
"How to Be Dead" (Chris Lord-Alge Edited Mix) – 3:12
The track "Breathing Fire (Demo Version)" is sometimes mentioned as a B-side on the 7 inch vinyl release. It was not released however. It may have been a working title for "Ways & Means" and may have been intended for this release. How To Be Dead was featured on the soundtracks to American Pie: Band Camp and Wicker Park.
Yahoo! Music's Jairne Gill reviewed the single positively, giving it 7 stars out of 10. Though he felt Snow Patrol usually made "ugly empty anthems", the single was a "rather lovely little song" and "modest" and "chimingly melodic". Gill praised the lyrics of the song, calling it "a pretty little knife which Gary Lightbody seems to be twisting into his own chest, a list of druggy regrets and lost loves" and also said that, though the song's "gentle, skipping rhythm threatens to go BIG", it doesn't and "a pretty and intimate song is preserved".