If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It

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"If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It"
7" vinyl
Single by Snow Patrol
from the album A Hundred Million Suns
B-side "In a Dream I Saw Satellites"
Released 8 March 2009
(See release history)
Format 7" vinyl, digital download
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:19 (album version)
3:37 (radio edit)
Label Fiction/Interscope
Writer(s) Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Paul Wilson , Jonny Quinn and Tom Simpson
Producer(s) Jacknife Lee
Snow Patrol singles chronology
"Crack the Shutters"
"If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It"
"The Planets Bend Between Us"

"If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It" is a song from alternative rock band Snow Patrol's fifth album A Hundred Million Suns. It was released as the follow-up single to "Crack the Shutters" on 8 and 9 March 2009.[1] It was the third single taken from the album. The music was composed in collaboration between the band members of Snow Patrol, and frontman Gary Lightbody serving as lyricist. The song is a departure from Lightbody's frequent attempts at diagnosing his less positive personal issues, which often focus on his romantic breakups, and instead celebrates a newfound love outside human relationships.

The song, though critically lauded upon the album release, was generally not received well as a single. The single was a commercial failure, failing to reach the Top 100 in the United Kingdom, and failing to chart in any other country. The single was later released in the Netherlands but failed to chart as well.


At the time of the release of the album, Snow Patrol.com posted a section featuring a discussion of the song with the band's lyricist, Gary Lightbody discussing the new songs, which was initially a Lightbody interview to RTÉ.[2] About "If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It", he said that the song "was a love record rather than a break up record". He continued to say that the song was "set in the context of a world that's as terrifying as it is beautiful, which is why a lot of the imagery refers to space." He maintained the positivity of the song, saying "I don't think we're doomed, but there's darkness here, looming over me rather than in me".[2] The album's lyrics were influenced by Lightbody's newly discovered love of science. In an interview with The Sunday Times, he said "I didn't have any aptitude for it at school, but I've become very interested in science over the past couple of years." He commented on the positive lyrics, adding "in the past, my lyrics have sometimes been bogged down by my own self-flagellation — can't see past my fingertips. This time, the opposite has happened. It's about realizing that we're just dots."[3]

Promotion and release[edit]

To promote the single, the band made an appearance on Channel 4's show T4 on 7 February.[4] The performance was aired between 9am and 2 pm.[4]

The single was initially issued only in the UK as a 7" Vinyl and Digital Download. The iTunes digital download featured the single and the music video. It was released in the UK and Ireland on 8 March.[5] The 7" single featured a new song, the previously unreleased b-side "In a Dream I Saw Satellites", written, composed and performed by frontman Gary Lightbody, without any collaboration with the rest of the band.[6] The song later became the fourth Dutch single from the album, after "Take Back the City", "Crack the Shutters" and "The Planets Bend Between Us".[7] To promote it, the band played an intimate concert at Desmet Studios as a part of Radio BNN's "That's Live" programme, which features artists doing such concerts. The performance was broadcast on 3FM between 18:00 and 21:00 hrs on 1 August.[8] Tickets for the concert only be won through a competition organized by BNN. Though 15 pairs of tickets were initially announced as prizes, 48 winners were announced, who were notified through e-mail.[7]

Music video[edit]

Nathan Connolly in a scene from the music video. The origami can be seen in the background.

The music video for the song was produced by Jon Adams and directed by Daniel Brereton.[9] It premiered on AOL Video in January.[1] The video was also added to playlists of TV channels including MTV, Q and The Box.[1] The video was praised by Getmusic for being "as iridescent and tender as the single".[10] However, The Irish Times hated it and said it should be skipped.[11]

The video features the band members wandering beside a beach. They chance upon an abandoned boat which is decorated with origami stars, which were featured on the album artwork for A Hundred Million Suns. After taking the time to examine them, the camera pans to Nathan Connolly, who has noticed a cottage a short distance away. He starts to walk towards it and the band members follow behind. Upon entering the cottage, they light lamps, with the room glowing with the reflection of identical origami stars that they had seen by the boat.

As the camera pans to Lightbody, his look of surprise is revealed; by opening a door, hot air balloons can be seen flying in the air, and the bandmates stop to examine them. The next sequence of shots show Lightbody walking in an area lighted by lamps. The camera then pans away from him to the band performing the song on their instruments. The end shots of the video show Lightbody with outstretched arms and a lone flying hot-air balloon.

Track listing[edit]


Although critical reception upon the release of the album was very positive, as a single, the song did not fare as well. Upon album release, Rolling Stone said that the band was all about "big, echoing soundscapes", "gargantuan guitar crescendos" and emotions that could only be described in mythology and astronomy.[15] PopMatters called the song "a moodier kickoff than "You’re All I Have", the instant power-pop anthem that served as the introduction to Eyes Open". It praised the lyric where Gary Lightbody sings about having a strand of his lover's hair wrapped around his finger, calling it "borderline saccharine".[16] The Independent called the song an attempt to "broaden the band's style". It felt the song was "intriguing", and noted the "conversational tone and diffident delivery", saying it may have been inspired by Sufjan Stevens. It also named the song among the picks from the album.[17] Pitchfork Media, who rated the album as a whole at only 4.9/10, still praised the song, saying, "If A Hundred Million Suns has any hits in it at all, they're likely over and done in the album's first eight minutes." Continuing, the review commented that "the song was Snow Patrol at their best and most emblematic." Lightbody's vocal delivery style was praised, saying that it "softens the blow of overwrought lyrics", citing 'the sea between us only amplifies the sound waves' as an example.[18]

Upon the release of the song, Daily Music Guide's Wayne Madden reviewed the single negatively, giving it 2 stars out of 5. He criticized it for having the same bars repeated for a whole minute. He felt the song wasn't bad, but was no stunner. He also called the sound "Coldplay-esque" and compared the sound to early Snow Patrol records.[19] BBC Radio 1's Vicki Lutas too gave the single a rating of 2 stars out of 5, saying that Snow Patrol had become lazy. She did like the chorus, though, saying it "makes you sit up and take notice for a little minute".[20] UKMix's Beren Reid awarded the single 2 stars out of 5 as well, calling the single "drab". He ridiculed it, saying it "doesn't sound single worthy" and furthermore didn't "deserve to be the b-side of a b-side".[21] The Northern Echo's Sophie Stratford however, reviewed the single very positively, saying that the band's reputation was about to get bigger. She praised the vocals and the sound, and felt that the lyrics "live long in your head for hours afterwards".[22]

The single failed to chart in any country barring the UK, where it peaked at a lowly #133,[23] but it was fairly successful on the UK Airplay Chart, peaking at #36.[24] In October 2008, the song ranked #30 in Q's The 50 Essential Tracks to Download This Month.[25]


Chart (2009) Peak
UK Airplay Chart[24] 36
UK Singles Chart[23] 133


Snow Patrol
Other personnel

Release history[edit]

Country/Region Date Format
United Kingdom[13] 8 March 2009 iTunes
United Kingdom[6] 9 March 2009 7" vinyl
Netherlands[12] 2009 iTunes


  1. ^ a b c "New single and video exclusive!". Snow Patrol. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Gary Lightbody on the new Snow Patrol album.....". RTÉ Entertainment. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Snow Patrol on fame, the future and A Hundred Million Suns". London: Times Online. 24 September 2009. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "'If There's a Rocket..." T4 performance this Saturday". Snow Patrol. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It - Single". iTunes. Retrieved 22 July 2009.  Note: Need iTunes to view link.
  6. ^ a b c "Snow Patrol - If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It". Discogs. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Snow Patrol: De winnaars zijn bekend!" (in Dutch). BNN. Retrieved 18 July 2009. 
  8. ^ Geerdink, Jochem (23 July 2009). "Concertverslag: Intiem miniconcert Snow Patrol" (in Dutch). Muziek. Retrieved 23 July 2009.  Note: Will need to see Page 2.
  9. ^ "Snow Patrol - If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It". Youtube. Retrieved 22 May 2009.  Note: Official channel for Universal Music Group. Need to click "more info" on the right.
  10. ^ "New Snow Patrol video: If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It". Getmusic. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Butler, Eoin (13 March 2009). "Singles - Shuffle: Eoin Butler's guide to singles, downloads and free audiostreams". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It - Single". iTunes. Retrieved 8 August 2009.  Note: Need iTunes to view link
  13. ^ a b "If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It - Single". iTunes. Retrieved 22 May 2009.  Note: Need iTunes to view link
  14. ^ "Item >> If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It". Vinyl Exchange. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  15. ^ Rosen, Jody (30 October 2008). "Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  16. ^ Langager, Ross (27 October 2008). "Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns". PopMatters. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  17. ^ Gill, Andy (24 October 2008). "Album: Snow Patrol, A Hundred Million Suns (Fiction)". The Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  18. ^ Love, Joshua (5 November 2008). "Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns". Pitchfork. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  19. ^ Madden, Wayne (23 February 2009). "Snow Patrol - If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It (Polydor)". Daily Music Guide. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  20. ^ Lutas, Vicki (7 March 2009). "Snow Patrol - 'If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It'". BBC. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  21. ^ Reid, Beren. "Snow Patrol - "If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It"". UKMix. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  22. ^ Stratford, Sophie (12 February 2009). "Snow Patrol: If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  23. ^ a b "Chart: CLUK Update 21.03.2009 (wk11)". Zobbel. Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  24. ^ a b "Chart: UK Charts 15/03/09". ATRL. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  25. ^ "Q50 / October 2008 / Track 30". Q. Bauer Media Group. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  26. ^ "Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns". Discogs. Retrieved 23 May 2009. 

External links[edit]