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"A Song for the Lovers" is a song by English singer-songwriter Richard Ashcroft and is the opening track on his 2000 album, Alone with Everybody. The song was also released on April 3, 2000 as the first single from that album in the United Kingdom (see 2000 in British music). The single peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart, a position that would be matched by Ashcroft's 2006 single "Break the Night with Colour".

"A Song for the Lovers"
A Song for the Lovers.jpg
Single by Richard Ashcroft
from the album Alone with Everybody
B-side"(Could Be) A Country Thing, City Thing, Blues Thing", "Precious Stone"
Released3 April 2000
FormatCD, 12", Cassette
GenreAlternative rock
LabelHut Records
Songwriter(s)Richard Ashcroft
Producer(s)Chris Potter, Richard Ashcroft
Richard Ashcroft singles chronology
"A Song for the Lovers"
"Money to Burn"

A Song for the Lovers was originally written by Richard Ashcroft as a demo track for The Verve's studio album Urban Hymns, three different versions were recorded but the song did not make the final album.


Track listingsEdit

  • CD HUTCD128, 12" HUTT128, Cassette HUTC128
  1. "A Song for the Lovers" – 5:39
  2. "(Could Be) A Country Thing, City Thing, Blues Thing" – 6:33
  3. "Precious Stone" – 5:23

Music videoEdit

The music video for "A Song for the Lovers" premiered in May 2000 and was directed by Jonathan Glazer.

The video is of narrative style. It is shot in real-time with an element of diegetic sound unusual in most music videos. Diegetic sound was used previously by Glazer for "Rabbit in Your Headlights".

The video appears to take its cue from the first lines of the song:

I spend the night, yeah,
Looking for my insides in a hotel room,
Waiting for you.

It shows Richard Ashcroft shirtless in a hotel room, having apparently just showered. The hotel room is decorated with a large amount of Native American imagery, featuring framed photos of tribal chiefs and a large mural in the bedroom. Ashcroft turns on a stereo and "A Song for the Lovers" starts playing. He makes an enigmatic, mumbled phone call, ending with the complaint, "It's been half an hour."

He hangs up, and walks out into the hotel corridor (still shirtless) as if expecting to find someone there. He looks around, finding nothing, then returns to his hotel room.

He goes into the bathroom, where he washes his hands and distractedly dabs at his appearance. While he is in the bathroom, the song plays loudly as to hide the sound of someone knocking on the hotel room door. The sound of the knocking is loud and insistent, almost threatening, but Ashcroft, in the bathroom, hears nothing other than the song.

He sings along with it, in a manner in which two Ashcrofts are heard: pre-recorded audio of Ashcroft singing the song, occasionally being paused by the "real life" Ashcroft holding a remote control; and the "live" voice of Ashcroft as seen in the video, less articulate, mostly mumbling or humming in a rough counterpoint to the song.

He leaves the bathroom, and stops short, staring... at a room-service tray left in the centre of the room, holding a covered dish.

Ashcroft sits down and starts to eat in a largely dissatisfied way. He picks apart a single sandwich before becoming distracted by an ominously flickering light in the nearby bathroom. He pauses the song and listens for further indication that anything is wrong. Dead silence. Ashcroft resumes the song (in mid-word) and resumes eating. He then pauses the song again, disturbed further by something never explained within the video.

He walks towards the bathroom, past the flickering fluorescent tube, and stops. In a close up, Ashcroft stares slightly downward into a corner of the room for a long, silent moment. The silence is broken by the sound of Ashcroft urinating into an off-camera toilet. Immediately, as if to dismiss the prior foreboding, the song resumes of its own accord, loudly and triumphantly as Ashcroft continues to pass water.

The final shot shows Ashcroft standing in the bathroom, urinating obliviously, as every light in the hotel room turns itself off except for the bathroom light... which is no longer flickering on and off. Ashcroft is left alone in a single square of light surrounded by darkness.


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[1] Silver 200,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

External linksEdit

  • ^ "British single certifications – Richard Ashcroft – A Song for the Lovers". British Phonographic Industry. May 27, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type A Song for the Lovers in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.