Tender (song)

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Blur - Tender.jpg
Single by Blur
from the album 13
B-side "All We Want" (7")
"All We Want", "Mellow Jam" (CD)
Released 22 February 1999
Format 7" vinyl, cassette, 2 x CD
Recorded 1998
Length 7:40 (album version)
4:30 (radio edit)
Label Food (UK)
Songwriter(s) Albarn / Coxon / James / Rowntree.
Producer(s) William Orbit
Blur singles chronology
"Coffee & TV"
"Coffee & TV"
Audio sample
Music video
"Tender" on YouTube

"Tender" is a 1999 song by English rock band Blur.

Lyrics and live performances[edit]

The song's lyrics were written by Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon and the vocals are shared on the track with backing vocals provided by the London Community Gospel Choir. The line "Tender is the night", and by extension the name of the song, is a reference to the novel Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose title was in turn a quotation from Keats' Ode to a Nightingale.

During Coxon's hiatus from the group, Blur continued to perform the song live with Albarn asking the audience to sing Coxon's lines; "Oh my baby/Oh my baby/Oh why?/Oh my". At Blur's headline appearance at Reading Festival in 2003, he introduced the song by saying "I don't want, for one moment, to be a sentimental but... Graham wrote this song as well... you know the bits he sings and I want you to sing them as loudly as you possibly can. Everyone needs to sing this song." Drummer Dave Rowntree would also sing Coxon's lines on occasion. In July 2009 when Blur re-formed, Coxon's lines in "Tender" were repeated and sung powerfully by the audience to call Blur back to stage at Glastonbury, Hyde Park and T in the Park.

In March 2013, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher performed this song live at the Teenage Cancer Trust charity event.[3]


It is the first track on Blur's sixth album 13 and was also released as the lead single before the album's release. The single reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart[4] – kept off number one by Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time". "Tender" was nominated in the category of Best British Single at the 2000 BRIT Awards. However, the award was won by Robbie Williams for "She's the One".

Video, B-side and remix[edit]

The video for the song is a live studio performance, filmed in black-and-white, featuring the band and a group of backing singers. Like Blur's earlier video for "End of a Century", it does not use the studio version's audio track. An official video for this track was recorded by Sophie Muller (director of the promo videos for "Beetlebum" and "Song 2"), but it was never released as the band simply didn't like it. Initially, the track "Swamp Song" was slated to appear as one of the single's B-sides, but was promoted to the parent album 13. The appearance of "Song 2" on the single was a last-minute substitution. A remix of the song by Cornelius was released on the "No Distance Left to Run" single.

Track listing[edit]

Production credits[edit]


Charts (1999) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[5] 32
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[6] 15
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 94
Ireland (IRMA) 6
Italy (FIMI)[8] 8
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 90
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 12
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 15
Spain (AFYVE)[12] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 29
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 45
UK Singles Chart[4] 2

In popular culture[edit]

The song is featured during the ending credits of the movie Southland Tales (2007) by Richard Kelly.


External links[edit]