Hang Me Up to Dry

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"Hang Me Up To Dry"
A black-and-white image of a young man sitting behind a door reading a book.
Single by Cold War Kids
from the album Robbers & Cowards
B-side"Every Valley Is Not A Lake"
ReleasedJanuary 29, 2007 (2007-01-29)
July 9, 2007 (2007-07-09) (re-release)
FormatDigital download, CD, 7"
Recorded2006 at Tackyland in Long Beach, California
GenreIndie rock, blues rock
LabelDowntown, V2
Songwriter(s)Cold War Kids
Producer(s)Matt Wignall
Cold War Kids
Cold War Kids singles chronology
"We Used to Vacation"
"Hang Me Up To Dry"
"Hospital Beds"
Music video
"Hang Me Up to Dry" on YouTube

"Hang Me Up to Dry" is a song by American indie rock band Cold War Kids. Written and co-produced by all four band members and Matt Wignall, it originally came from their third EP Up in Rags (2006) and is the second track off their debut album Robbers & Cowards (2006). Lyrically, the song tells a story of a 'one-sided relationship' and uses the action of hanging wet clothes on a clothesline as a metaphor for the relationship.

It was released as a single on January 29, 2007 by Downtown and V2 Records, charting at number 57 in the UK and number 26 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The song was re-released (using the same catalogue number and track listing) on July 9, 2007 but failed to break back into the charts. An accompanying music video for the song was directed by The Malloys and plays out like a trailer for an avant-garde film.


According to the digital sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is set in 4/4 time with a tempo of 92 beats per minute.[1] It is composed in the key of E minor with lead singer Nathan Willett's vocal range spanning from the low-note of E3 to the high-note of B4.[1]

Music video[edit]

Directed by The Malloys, the video plays like an avant-garde film trailer where it's shot in black and white and shows made up film review quotes and festival awards. The video was uploaded on their record label's YouTube page on January 23, 2007.

Live performances[edit]

Cold War Kids made their U.S. television debut performing "Hang Me Up To Dry" on the Late Show with David Letterman on December 21, 2006.[2] They performed the song again on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on April 10, 2007.[3] They made their U.K. television debut performing "Hang Me Up to Dry" and "Tell Me in the Morning" on Later... with Jools Holland on May 18, 2007.[4]


The song ranked at number 46 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2006[5] and was voted number 8 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2007, alongside "Hospital Beds" which was voted number 37.[6]

Use in popular culture[edit]

Formats and track listing[edit]

  • UK CD[8]
    • 1. "Hang Me Up to Dry" – 3:40
    • 2. "Every Valley Is Not A Lake" – 3:23
    • 3. "Well Well Well" – 4:09
    • 4. "Heavy Boots" – 4:14
    UK 7" Vinyl[9]
    • A. "Hang Me Up to Dry" – 3:40
    • B. "Every Valley Is Not A Lake" – 3:23


Chart (2007) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 57
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 (Billboard)[11] 22
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[12] 26


  1. ^ a b "Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up To Dry Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "Cold War Kids: From Blogs to Bonnaroo". Jambands.com. December 22, 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "Cold War Kids – Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien – Hang Me Up To Dry". Idobi. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "BBC Two – Later... with Jools Holland, Series 29, Episode 3". BBC. British Broadcasting Company. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of the Year". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. December 8, 2006. p. 5. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  6. ^ "Hottest 100 2007". Triple J. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  7. ^ Gilliland, Ryan (February 5, 2015). "Royal Blood cover Cold War Kids 'Hang Me Up To Dry'". Sonic 102.9. Rogers Radio. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  9. ^ "Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  10. ^ "Cold War Kids – Artist Chart History". British Phonographic Industry and Entertainment Retailers Association. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  11. ^ "Cold War Kids – Chart History: Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  12. ^ "Cold War Kids – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 28, 2010.

External links[edit]