Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars' is most-played song of 21st Century

Snow Patrol Credit: PA

Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars has been crowned the most-played song of the 21st Century.

Recorded for the band's fourth album Eyes Open, frontman Gary Lightbody has previously said the track is “the purest love song” he has ever written.

Lightbody was presented with a special gong by music licensing company PPL to mark the song's success.

Of the new accolade, Lightbody said: "It's amazing but, when I wrote it in 2006... I mean there's no possible way of knowing it would even endure this long, nevermind be the most played song on the radio.

"It's extraordinary."

Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody with the gong. Credit: PA

He added he wrote Chasing Cars, and four other songs from Eyes Open, in the space of a few hours.

"I was in the studio with our producer and I wrote 10 songs in a night, in a few hours, and five of those songs ended up on Eyes Open.

"And by the way, that's the first and only time that's happened - the hit rate is normally not that good.

"Normally I'd write 10 songs and none of them I'd ever show or play to anybody.

"That was a particularly good night."

The anthem failed to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart when the indie artists released it in 2006, but the tune was featured in TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, and a number of films.

Gary Lightbody said he did not realise his song would be so successful. Credit: PA

PPL chief executive officer Peter Leather said: “Chasing Cars is a song that has become a popular anthem, securing huge success across radio, in public and especially TV, where its huge appeal has led to its use in many programmes and especially Grey’s Anatomy.”

More upbeat numbers Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling and Pharrell’s Happy are second and third on the list.

What are the UK's best-selling singles of all time?

1. Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle in the Wind 1997 - Elton John

2. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid

3. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

4. Mull of Kintyre/Girls' School - Wings

5. You're The One That I Want - John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

6. Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood

7. Rivers of Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring - Boney M.

8. Happy - Pharrell Williams

9. She Loves You - The Beatles

10. Love Is All Around - Wet Wet Wet