Set the Fire to the Third Bar
|"Set the Fire to the Third Bar"|
|Single by Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright|
|from the album Eyes Open|
|Released||13 November 2006|
|Songwriter(s)||Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Tom Simpson, Paul Wilson and Jonny Quinn|
|Snow Patrol singles chronology|
|Martha Wainwright singles chronology|
The song was the last track to be recorded for the album Eyes Open and was the third single released from the album. It was written especially with Martha in mind. Lightbody wrote the song in only 20 minutes and described it as the quickest he had ever written a song. The song title describes an electric heater. While writing in the freezing cold and wearing fingerless gloves Lightbody recalled that as a child his Aunt Jean had an electric heater, and "if we were very good and it was very cold, she'd let us put all three bars on" and he goes on to say how it represents "a beacon of warmth within a song about distance".
The song is about a long distance relationship and its lyrics talk of a couple involved in one: ("I'm miles from where you are") and their longing to be together again ("I pray that something picks me up/ And sets me down in your warm arms"). After their long journey to meet each ("After I have travelled so far") they would settle down in front of an electric bar fire ("We'd set the fire to the third bar") and enjoy being together and warm.
On November 12, 2009, Snow Patrol performed a version of "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" featuring Cheryl Cole for BBC Children In Need performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
Snow Patrol have featured many guest vocalists for live performances of the song. Singers such as Lisa Hannigan, Miriam Kaufmann and actress Maria Doyle Kennedy have joined them during performances in the Republic of Ireland. In the United Kingdom they have been joined by artists such as Cheryl Cole, and for their Royal Albert Hall show Andrea Corr and unusually by a male vocalist, comedian James Corden. Shauna Tohill, from the band Silhouette, has also joined Snow Patrol for a live performance of this song.
Yahoo! Music's Dan Gennoe made comparisons of Snow Patrol with Coldplay throughout his review, calling the song "Gary Lightbody & co's decision to 'do a Coldplay'." He defended Snow Patrol stating that they "spent many a year making quirky, interesting and inspired music, which few wanted. Given the million selling opportunity afforded them by chart-eating anthem "Run", it'd surely be a fool who chose to return to obscurity." He reviewed the single positively, giving it 7 stars out of 10. Though he felt the song wasn't "boundary-pushing", it was "certainly interesting", with "Lightbody once again displaying the melodic lightness of touch which has served him so well both pre and post fame." To him, Martha Wainwright's "country quiver" was an "added interest" to the song, which helped "break-up bouts of dourness". He called the song "a bleakly beautiful ballad" and it was a "rare moment where Snow Patrol's emotional ache feels genuinely heartfelt rather than borrowed from Chris Martin."
MusicOMH's Alvin Chan reviewed the song positively, calling it "a beautiful track", but felt it was "formulaic through and through." He heaped praise on the music, calling it "artful in its simplicity and, if one is in the right mood, vividly evocative. The unfussy melody is bolstered by gentle strings and buzzing keyboards." He also felt "Gary Lightbody delivers a characteristically raw vocal performance without sounding sappy or indulgent. Lightbody's vocals are perfectly complemented by Canadian songstress Martha Wainwright, whose arrestingly haunting voice is put to good use." He worried the "band's worrying overexposure" could lead the song being "heard in the background of every single TV show, commercial and dramatic montage."
CityLife's Stephen Gilliver felt the song was the standout in a "disappointing" album, and called it "glorious". He said that Martha Wainwright's contribution to the song made it "a trademark brooding Snow Patrol epic of Run or Chasing Cars". He liked the contrast between Wainwright's expressive singing and Lightbody's dry delivery.
The video was filmed in the UK, directed by Paul McGuigan who later directed the video for "Signal Fire". The music video uses a split screen technique showing the couple very close together but at the same time far away from each other. Gary Lightbody is shown in a white interrogation room. Martha Wainwright is an observation room painted dark blue. He sings into the two way mirror, she looks back at him, close but still separated from him.
|1.||"Set the Fire to the Third Bar"||3:22|
|2.||"You're All I Have (Live in Hamburg)"||4:42|
|1.||"Set the Fire to the Third Bar"||3:22|
|2.||"Chasing Cars (Live in Hamburg)"||4:30|
|1.||"Set the Fire to the Third Bar (Radio Edit)"||3:16|
|2.||"Set the Fire to the Third Bar"||3:22|
In popular culture
|Belgium Ultratop 50||41|
|Irish Singles Chart||22|
|UK Singles Chart||18|
|US Billboard Hot 100||54|
- Other personnel
- Guram Lubaggi Jiménez - artwork
- "Snow Patrol : News : Set The Fire to The Third Bar - Video & release details". SnowPatrol.com. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "Interview: Tom Simpson from Snow Patrol". PlugInMusic.com. 7 July 2006. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
|last1=in Authors list (help)
- Neil McCormick (2006-11-25). "How Martha melted Snow Patrol". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- Smith, Sean (20 March 2007). "San Diego Music - The band Snow Patrol!". San Diego.com. Archived from the original on 3 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30. External link in
- "Snow Patrol : Single : Set the Fire to the Third Bar". SnowPatrol.com.
- Barrie, Stuart (24 August 2007). "The DJ Q & A - Freeform Five". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Coleman, Maureen (12 November 2009). "Snow Patrol team up with X Factor judge Cheryl Cole". The Belfast Telegraph. Independent News and Media. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- on YouTube. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
- Ed Power (2009-12-04). "Review: Snow Patrol, Olympia Theatre, Dublin". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- Lightbody, Gary. "Official Snow Patrol Blog". SnowPatrol.com. Retrieved 2010-01-21. External link in
- Maureen Coleman (2009-12-08). "Snow Patrol keep promise to stage Bangor concert". The Belfast Telegraph. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- "James Corden sings with Snow Patrol". BBC News. BBC. 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- "Gavin & Stacey's Smithy star James Corden shows he's on song". The Sun (newspaper). London: News Corporation. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- Dan Gennoe (2006-11-16). "Snow Patrol - 'Set the Fire to the Third Bar'". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- Alvin Chan (2006-11-13). "Snow Patrol - Set the Fire to the Third Bar (Polydor)". MusicOMH. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- Stephen Gilliver (November 15, 2006). "Snow Patrol feat. Martha Wainwright - Set the Fire to the Third Bar (Fiction)". CityLife. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- "Snow Patrol : Now Playing : Set The Fire To The Third Bar". SnowPatrol.com.
The video was filmed in the UK with acclaimed director Paul McGuigan behind the camera. McGuigan later directed the video for "Signal Fire".
- "Set The Fire to The Third Bar featured in the movie trailer for Dear John".
- on YouTube
- "Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright - Set the Fire to the Third Bar". aCharts. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- "Snow Patrol feat. Martha Wainwright - Set The Fire To The Third Bar". Ultratop.be (in Dutch). Swisscharts (Hung Medien). Retrieved 2010-01-21.
- "Snow Patrol - Set The Fire To The Third Bar". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-07-02. "Images for Snow Patrol Featuring Martha Wainwright - Set The Fire To The Third Bar". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-07-02.