Snow Patrol Reminds Me About Love & Desire In An Instant

hearts on a sidewalk

“Maybe things are terrifying, but they’re beautiful, too. The world is extremely surprising.” – Gary Lightbody (of Snow Patrol)

Recently I was traveling back from an international trip. The lights were dark inside the plane and Chasing Cars had been playing on repeat thanks to my mood and the ease of iPods (to think what it used to be like when I would make entire looped cassette tapes of songs I liked so that I could listen on repeat without rewinding!).

Not long ago I stumbled across an interview with Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol. He said something about how Chasing Cars was – even from his perspective – a surprisingly pure, optimistic and loving song. Just this beautiful song about love. It is for me, too. I can’t actually listen to it without thinking of a friend who was obsessed with this song after she ended a very painful relationship with someone who brought out the worst and the best feelings in her. But I also have my own connections to the song that are about two people carving out space, forgetting everything else, and who surrender to the weirdness of the world that brings them together.

There’s so much longing in the song and so much wonderment. And this desire to forget whatever else it is about the world that would keep them apart or keep them distant or keep them sad or going about their business without the  magic of romance. I don’t know what to make of it. I just know what it feels like to feel as if the entire world is within your arms as so many people have sung forever.

To me, this song reflects a moment… all these feelings that occur in the instant in which you gaze lovingly in someone else’s eyes, when your worries about whether it’s right or wrong, or if it will work or not, or what your friends or family will think, or even what you will think the next day, or that your laundry needs to get done – they all disappear. They don’t matter. It’s just you and him or her in a bed, in a bath, in your car, on a sidewealk, across the table, or sitting on the edge of a fountain. And that’s your “garden that’s bursted into life.” Or at least at times – in those very fortunate, is-this-really-happening times – it’s been mine.

Related MSP Posts:
- British Catholics’ Prayer Before Making Love
- Do It Yourself Dildos
- Time for Rediscovery in the Jungles of Life and of Love?

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at