Somewhere Only We Know

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For the upcoming Chinese film, see Somewhere Only We Know (film).
"Somewhere Only We Know"
Single by Keane
from the album Hopes and Fears
Released 16 February 2004
(See Release history)
Format 7" vinyl, Enhanced CD single, 3" pocket
Recorded Heliocentric Studios, Rye, East Sussex, England
Les Essarts, Normandy, France
Genre Alternative rock, piano rock
Length 3:57
Label Island
Writer(s) Tim Rice-Oxley, Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes
Producer(s) Andy Green, James Sanger, Keane
Keane singles chronology
"This Is the Last Time"
(2003)
"Somewhere Only We Know"
(2004)
"Everybody's Changing"
(2004)
Promo cover
Cover for the promo version release. The image appears on the back of the official release's cover.

"Somewhere Only We Know" is a song performed and composed by English alternative rock band Keane, officially released as their third commercial single, and appearing as the opening track of their debut studio album, Hopes and Fears (2004) as the first single. It is considered also Keane's first major commercial release, becoming one of the greatest hits of 2004 worldwide and peaking on the UK charts at number three during its first week of sale. Also, it was Keane's best selling single until "Is It Any Wonder?" in 2006.

Composition and recording[edit]

The first demo was composed by Tim Rice-Oxley circa 2001. Rice-Oxley composed this song out of hammering with the piano and based on David Bowie's song "Heroes".[1] It was first played on the guitar just before Dominic Scott left the band, and recorded as a demo the same year with a Yamaha CP70 instead of the guitar. Keane recorded the final version in 2003 at the Helioscentric Studios, Rye, East Sussex for the album. Keane also played this song at the historic concert Live 8 in London, along with the single "Bedshaped".

A demo version of "Somewhere Only We Know" was leaked into the Internet in 2004. This version features a different length (4:24) and an extra bridge. Chaplin's shout at the outro is removed.

"Somewhere Only We Know" is a traditional piano rock song. The piano is the most relevant instrument, due to its harmonic and rhythmic role. It is played in quavers throughout the whole song, holding the tempo and the rhythmic pattern. The studio version is recorded in 87bpm, and follows a 4/4 time signature, one of the most commonly used in tradional rock songs. The song form can analyzed as "ABAB CBCB", a variation of the strophic form. The verse (A) chord progression is a plain (I-II-V), one of the most used chord progressions in music; the chorus (B) presents a (VI-III-IV-V) progression; the variation of the verse section (C) presents a (II-III-IV-V) progression.

The bass line was recorded by Rice-Oxley. When played live, this song uses a pre-recorded bass, which is played in an Apple PowerBook G4. The 16-beat rhythm was made by Hughes. The song relies heavily in synthesizers, sampling and organ timbre, used to complement the harmonies in the song.

Information about song[edit]

The song was mixed by Mark "Spike" Stent. 3" pocket CDs were released as a limited edition of 1000, containing the B-side "Snowed Under" as well as links to receive a polyphonic ringtone via SMS. These copies are now valued at £20 due to their rarity. This song was the first Keane item released on vinyl format. The records were numbered and limited to 5000 copies, only sold in the United Kingdom. The B-side "Walnut Tree" was recorded during the James Sanger sessions at Normandy, France.

The real meaning of the song's video and lyrics remain unknown; however, several[who?] have accepted that the meaning refers to "Manser's Shaw", a place in Battle where Keane members used to visit in their childhood days and the site of the Battle of Hastings, fought on 14 October 1066.

Richard Hughes, Keane's drummer, offered the following explanation of the song on Chris Flynn's fansite:

We've been asked whether "Somewhere Only We Know" is about a specific place, and Tim has been saying that, for him, or us as individuals, it might be about a geographical space, or a feeling; it can mean something individual to each person, and they can interpret it to a memory of theirs... It's perhaps more of a theme rather than a specific message... Feelings that may be universal, without necessarily being totally specific to us, or a place, or a time...[2]

In the trailer for Winnie the Pooh, the song "Somewhere Only We Know" was used. The song is not included on the soundtrack.

B-sides[edit]

Snowed Under

The song talks about a place called "Manser's Shaw" in Battle, East Sussex where the band used to spend their childhood days. It was inspired by a poem.[3] "Snowed Under" was the only B-side played live during 2004, 2005 and early 2006, because of its appearance on the CD+DVD version of Hopes and Fears, as well as in the Japanese version of it. Like "Walnut Tree", this song was mixed by Andy Green. "Snowed Under" also titles the band's debut album, with the line "someone who understands your hopes and fears".

Walnut Tree

The lyrics talk about waiting for someone under a walnut tree but Rice-Oxley hasn't given a real meaning to this. It appeared on the Music from the OC: Mix 2 soundtrack. James Sanger is credited on this song for his contributions at his studios in France. This song was mixed by Andy Green.

Technical information on songs[edit]

Song Length Tempo Key Time signature Genre
"Somewhere Only We Know" 3:57 87bpm A (La major) 4/4 on 16 beats Piano rock
"Snowed Under" 3:50 130bpm F (Fa major) 4/4 on 8 beats Piano rock
"Walnut Tree" 3:42 110bpm F# (Fa sharp major) 4/4 on 16 beats Alternative ballad
"Somewhere Only We Know" (Demo not included) 4:24 87bpm A (La major) 4/4 on 8 beats Alternative

Music videos[edit]

There are three music videos for this song:

International version

Keane appear coming out of a studio and taking a taxi. Then they come across a forest where live the "simple thing" aliens (called "Roxleys" by some fans).[4][5] Each Roxley represents the spirit of a tree.

This international video was directed by Corin Hardy, produced by Kit Hawkins for White House Pictures and shot between 22–23 November 2003. Hardy was influenced by the movie Princess Mononoke and created the "simple thing" aliens, based on the "kodamas" appearing on that film.

The video saga starts with an image of a backstage door shortly before Keane gets through it with Tom holding a snare. They get into a British taxi cab. A little spirit (a "simple thing" alien) is inside the taxi. Then they arrive in a wooded area (in East Sussex, owned by an acquaintance of Corin Hardy). The "simple thing" alien remains in the cab. They began walking through the forest, "an empty land", across a "fallen tree" and finally arrive to a stream. They are now playing the song in the stream. Near the end of the song, the little spirits, Roxleys, appear again and get closer to Keane. Finally lights representing their hearts shine.

United States version 1

The video is the same without the "simple thing" aliens.

United States version 2 and other countries

This video was shot in 29 May 2004 in Hollywood, California and directed by The Saline Project. The song kicks off and Keane are playing a gig on the stage with a photography of a forest behind them. Soon, the photography becomes real and Keane are actually playing in the forest it represents. After the chorus, the forest becomes a city, and buildings start to grow. On the last chorus, it starts raining before converting into a forest again. The forest disappears and then Keane are playing again on the stage.

Cover art[edit]

The cover art was designed by Madefire and Alex Lake, and represents maple leaves falling as on the music video. It also relates to the themes of the B sides, "Walnut Tree" and "Snowed Under". Although neither of the B-sides appear on the Hopes and Fears album, they are relatively well known due to live performances and soundtracks. The letters reading "KEANE" are also in the background, featuring the red leaves.

Track listings[edit]

Enhanced CD single

Catalogue number: CID849
The CD included two different wallpapers for the PC and the official UK release music video.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know" – 3:58
  2. "Snowed Under" – 3:51
  3. "Walnut Tree" – 3:40
  4. "Somewhere Only We Know" (CD-ROM video) – 3:56
UK 7" vinyl

Catalogue number: IS849

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Snowed Under"
UK 3" pocket CD

Released 19 July 2004. It included links for download polyphonic and real ringtones.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Snowed Under"

Alternative versions[edit]

German Enhanced CD single

Released 26 March 2004.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Snowed Under"
Spanish Enhanced CD single

Released 16 April 2004.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"
  2. "Walnut Tree"
  3. "Somewhere Only We Know" (video)
Promo version

The font depicted was used only during the Fierce Panda era.

  1. "Somewhere Only We Know"

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004–2013) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 43
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[7] 6
Denmark (Tracklisten)[8] 9
France (SNEP)[9] 42
France (SNEP) Download Chart[10] 17
Germany (Media Control Charts)[11] 55
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 30
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 15
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 19
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 50
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[17] 37
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[18] 11
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[19] 32
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[20] 36

Release history[edit]

Country Date
United Kingdom 16 February 2004
Europe 26 March 2004
Australia 17 May 2004

Lily Allen version[edit]

"Somewhere Only We Know"
Single by Lily Allen
from the album Sheezus
Released 10 November 2013
Format CD single, digital download
Genre Pop
Length 3:28
Label Parlophone, Regal
Producer(s) Paul Beard
Lily Allen singles chronology
"True Love"
(2013)
"Somewhere Only We Know"
(2013)
"Hard Out Here"
(2013)

In 2013, English recording artist Lily Allen released a cover version of the song. It was released on 10 November 2013 in the United Kingdom as a digital download through Parlophone and Regal Recordings. The song was selected as the soundtrack to the John Lewis 2013 Christmas advertisement. The song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, becoming her third number-one single.[21]

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the single will be donated to Save the Children's Philippine Typhoon Appeal campaign.[22][23]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song shows a making of the John Lewis advert.

Chart performance[edit]

On 24 November 2013, "Somewhere Only We Know" reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, thus becoming Lily Allen's third number-one single following "Smile" (2006) and "The Fear" (2009).[21] Although the song has spent a total of three non-consecutive weeks at the top spot, it has never reached number one on the UK Singles Download Chart. It sold 46,279 copies during its second week at number one, the lowest number for a number-one single since Taio Cruz's "Break Your Heart" sold 42,746 copies in its third week at number one in 2009.[24]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Somewhere Only We Know"   3:28

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Tom Chaplin – songwriter
  • Richard Hughes – songwriter
  • Tim Rice-Oxley – songwriter
  • Lily Allen – lead vocals
  • Paul Beard – producer, arranger, mixer, piano, percussion, programming
  • Paul Sayer – acoustic guitar
  • James Banbury – string arrangement
  • Joe Kearns – engineer and mixer
  • Andy Cook – assistant
  • Will Hicks – assistant
  • Matt Dougthy – assistant
  • Jason Elliot – additional programming
  • Stuart Hawkes – mastering

Credits adapted from CD single liner notes.[25]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 10 November 2013[37] CD, Digital download Warner Music

Other cover versions[edit]

The song is the most covered of Keane's songs, with cover versions by several artists:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - http://keaneshaped.co.uk/faq". Keaneshaped.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  2. ^ "Keaneshaped - FAQ - What are the songs about? - Somewhere Only We Know". Retrieved June 2006. 
  3. ^ "Keaneshaped - FAQ - What are the songs about? - Snowed Under". Retrieved June 2006. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Keane – Somewhere Only We Know" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Ultratop.be – Keane – Somewhere Only We Know" (in French). Ultratip.
  8. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Keane – Somewhere Only We Know". Tracklisten.
  9. ^ "Lescharts.com – Keane – Somewhere Only We Know" (in French). Les classement single.
  10. ^ Steffen Hung (2010-10-30). "Les charts français". lescharts.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  11. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Keane search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  14. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Keane – Somewhere Only We Know". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Keane Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Keane.
  17. ^ "Keane Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Keane.
  18. ^ "Keane Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Keane.
  19. ^ "Keane Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Keane.
  20. ^ "Keane Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Keane.
  21. ^ a b "Lily Allen tops Official UK Singles Chart with Keane cover". NME.com. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Tijdlijnfoto's - Save the Children UK". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  23. ^ McCormack, Kirsty (2013-11-09). "Will Lily Allen be heading for Christmas number one with John Lewis advert cover? | Showbiz | News | Daily Express". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  24. ^ [3][dead link]
  25. ^ Somewhere Only We Know (liner notes). Lily Allen. Parlophone, Regal Recordings. 2013. 825646350261. 
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We Know" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We Know" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  28. ^ "Euro Digital Songs : Nov 30, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. 2013-11-30. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  29. ^ "Lescharts.com – Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We Know" (in French). Les classement single.
  30. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  31. ^ "Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We Know Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest.
  32. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  33. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201406 into search.
  34. ^ "Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We know – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  35. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  36. ^ "British single certifications – Lily Allen – Somewhere Only We Know". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Somewhere Only We Know in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  37. ^ "iTunes - Music - Somewhere Only We Know - Single by Lily Allen". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 

External links[edit]