Why I'm Here

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"Why I'm Here"
Single by Oleander
from the album February Son
Released 1999
Recorded 1998
Genre Post-grunge
Length 3:58
Label Universal
Writer(s) Thomas Flowers and Oleander
Producer(s) Steven Haigler
Oleander singles chronology
"Why I'm Here"
"I Walk Alone"

"Why I'm Here" is a song by American hard rock band Oleander. It was the lead single from their major label debut album, February Son. The track was previously included on Oleander's eponymous EP in 1996 and their independent LP, Shrinking the Blob, in 1997. Despite comparisons to Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box," or perhaps because of them,[1] "Why I'm Here" would become Oleander's best known song, charting higher than any of their other singles.

The melancholy power ballad features various hallmarks of post-grunge. A simple, clean guitar pattern strikingly similar to "Heart-Shaped Box" begins the song; the first three notes, as well as the overall chord progression, of both songs are indeed identical and largely responsible for its criticism. An additional guitar melody and drums enter shortly after with lonesome singing. The pre-chorus introduces a bittersweet violin and eventually enters an aggressive, heavy chorus. Lyrically, "Why I'm Here" describes people's vague resentment toward the narrator as well his/her indifference toward a significant other, shouting "I can't love you anymore/I'm scared of the sound of it."

The promotional CD single of "Why I'm Here" includes both the album version and a "No Strings Attached" version which omits the violin.

Regarded among popular post-grunge singles, "Why I'm Here" has appeared on compilation albums such as Now That's What I Call Music! 3 in 1999 and Universal Smash Hits in 2000. The song was featured in the Dawson's Creek second season finale, "Parental Discretion Advised."


Allmusic's Heather Phares named "Why I'm Here" one of three AMG Album Picks in her review of February Son. She regarded it as among the band's "finest post-grunge-isms." However, Noel Murray of The A.V. Club viewed the song more negatively, regarded Oleander as "[arriving] too late for grunge and too early for emo." He elaborated that "the band gamely struggles to justify its existence to major-label masters who can hear something marketable, but can't figure out who'd want to buy it."[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Why I'm Here" 3:58
2. "Why I'm Here (No Strings Attached)" 3:58


Chart (1999) Peak
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 7
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 13

End of year charts[edit]

End of year chart (1999) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 40


  1. ^ Michael Christopher. "Thomas Flowers of Oleander". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  2. ^ Murray, Noel Inventory: 16 Fading-From-Memory Hits From The Now That's What I Call Music! Collection The A.V. Club (October 27, 2006). Retrieved on 7-18-09.

External links[edit]