New York (Snow Patrol song)

"New York" is a song by Northern Irish alternative rock group Snow Patrol. The track is the third single from the band's sixth studio album, Fallen Empires. It was released as a digital download on 20 December 2011 in the US.

"New York"
Single by Snow Patrol
from the album Fallen Empires
Released20 December 2011
FormatDigital download
GenreAlternative rock
Songwriter(s)Gary Lightbody, Johnny McDaid[1]
Snow Patrol singles chronology
"This Isn't Everything You Are"
"New York"
"In the End"

Background and writingEdit

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody struggled with writer's block when penning Fallen Empires. Speaking to Q magazine, the singer explained how a chance meeting with R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe at a Californian studio rejuvenated his writing process.[2] He recalled, "I couldn't even write my name on a cheque. It was that bad at the time ... (Stipe arriving at the studio) was amazing because the first song I ever played live was R.E.M.'s 'Find the River' at a school concert." Although Stipe's input was minimal, it was enough to inspire Lightbody to rediscover his muse. He recalled, "Michael just made a few suggestions here and there. On a track called 'New York' there was a line, 'Your face has never left me.' He said, 'That sounds like you've got a girl's head in your bag.' So we changed that."[2]

Lightbody explained the story behind the piano ballad: "I always try to write about personal experiences - 'New York' is about a girl I was seeing over there. We both had strong feelings for one another, but we were never in the same place at the same time. It's about missed opportunities."[2] Lightbody penned this song with Snow Patrol pianist Johnny McDaid in his London studio.[2]


The song was featured in the "Suddenly" episode of Grey's Anatomy, which aired on 5 January 2012.[3] Snow Patrol performed it live on 9 January 2012 on American late-night talk show Late Show with David Letterman.[4] This song was also featured in Season 4 Episode 10 of The Vampire Diaries.

Critical receptionEdit

Jon Young from Spin wrote that the somber "New York" calls out, "Come on / Come out / Come here," to a faraway lover with persuasive fervor.[5] Mike Haydock from BBC Music wrote that "New York and In the End are the massive, sweeping songs that form the heart of Fallen Empires."[6] Michael Tedder from Paste Magazine refers to "New York" as "a memorable melody, which will probably be in a million TV dramas".[7] Chad Grischow from IGN Music calls it a power-ballad and "one of many instantly memorable offerings" on the album.[8]

Music videoEdit

The official music video was released on 30 March 2012. The video shows Gary Lightbody, the band's frontman sitting at a bar, lonely and looking upset, while having drink after drink.[9] "Ignoring all the dancing and smiling faces around him, the frontman stares into space. His lip-synching is even half-hearted, as he's lost in thought about a relationship that didn’t work out...The emotional video is simple but powerful."[10]

Track listingEdit

1."New York" (album version)4:02

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2011–12) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[11] 16
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[12] 37
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 2
Billboard Canadian Hot 100 94
Billboard Rock Digital Songs 15
Billboard Alternative Digital Songs 10


  1. ^ "New York | Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "New York by Snow Patrol Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  3. ^ "SP RETURN TO GREYS ANATOMY". 9 January 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Video: 'New York' on 'Letterman'". Rolling Stone. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  5. ^ Young, Jon. "Snow Patrol: 'Fallen Empires'". Spin. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  6. ^ Mike Haydock (18 March 2012). "BBC - Music - Review of Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires". BBC.
  7. ^ Tedder, Michael. "Snow Patrol: 'Fallen Empires'". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  8. ^ Grischow, Chad. "Snow Patrol: 'Fallen Empires'". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  9. ^ Jay, Arthur (2 April 2012). "Snow Patrol - New York Video". KOvideo. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  10. ^ Scott, Shetler (3 May 2012). "Snow Patrol - New York Video". Retrieved 3 May 2012. External link in |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ " – Snow Patrol – New York" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  12. ^ " – Snow Patrol – New York" (in French). Ultratop 50.

External linksEdit