Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review


There are only a handful of songs that are likely to transcend through time through generations to come. And there are even fewer such songs inspired by real people. A song that fits these criteria perfectly is “Hey There Delilah” by American rock band Plain White T’s. However, this song is the furthest removed from a rock anthem.

“Hey There Delilah” was released on May 9, 2006, as the third single from Plain White T’s third studio album, “All That We Needed”. The song gained little recognition at first, but slowly gained ground over the next year and eventually reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the UK charts in July 2007. In 2014, the song s ‘is sold over 4.5 million copies in the United States. , and over 1.2 million copies in the UK.

“Hey There Delilah” received two Grammy nominations in 2008 for categories; “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals”, but lost to Amy Winehouse and Maroon 5 respectively.

Who is “Hey There Delilah” about?

The song is inspired by a real person; also named Delilah. Plain White T frontman Tom Higgenson wrote “Hey There Delilah” about a girl he met in Chicago and named Delilah DiCrescenzo in 2005. The story goes that Delilah DiCrescenzo was back home in Chicago, on break from school at Columbia University, and met Tom Higgenson at a party. Tom Higgenson described Delilah as the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and was thus inspired to write the song.

“I thought she was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen” he says. “I said, ‘I already have a song about you.’ Obviously there was no song. But I thought it was fluid.

But, alas, Delilah had a boyfriend and she was honest about it with Higgenson. However, that didn’t stop Higgenson from composing one of the most romantic songs ever written. A year later, Tom Higgenson dropped the recording “Hey There Delilah” to Delilah DiCrescenzo, and she was flattered. None of them would ever have imagined that the song would get as big as it is today!

Delilah DiCrescenzo spoke about the time Tom Higgenson let her listen to the song for the first time; “My first thought, ‘Oh no! Did I drive Tom? I became anxious. I was with Will. I am still with Will to this day. Tom and I had a friendly relationship and I wondered if he had misinterpreted my actions. He put so much effort into the song. I felt guilty, like, “I’m such a girl!” When my dad heard the words “Oh, what are you doing to me” he said, “Delilah, what exactly did you do to do this guy? “

Although Tom Higgenson never won the girl, he did manage to win a whole world. Delilah DiCrescenzo attended the 2008 Grammy Awards with Tom Higgenson and the rest of Plain White T’s for their nominations.

Who is Dalila DiCrescenzo?

Delilah DiCrescenzo is an American cross country runner. She participates in the women’s 3000 meters steeplechase. She also graduated from Columbia University in 2005. More importantly, Delilah DiCrescenzo is the subject of the song “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T.

Watch Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah” Music Video

Download the single “Hey There Delilah” on Apple Music and Amazon

“Hey There Delilah” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review

The song is about a long-distance relationship between a girl and the singer; in this case, Tom Higgenson and Delilah DiCrescenzo, although they never officially dated.

Verse 1

We don’t beat around the bush to find out who this song is about. The song begins with an address to Delilah, which is also the title of the song. At the time of writing this song, Delilah DiCrescenzo was attending Columbia University and Tom Higgenson and the band were based in Chicago. Distance “1000 miles” is an expression for long distance. In literal terms, the distance between Chicago and New York is about 700 miles, pretty close!

Tom Higgenson can’t really see Delilah in New York. But he imagines she does. Tom was literally struck by her beauty and it is something difficult to erase from his memory. In his mind, she will always be beautiful.

Times Square is one of New York’s flashiest places, with lights, massive LED screens, and tall buildings. In Tom’s mind, Delilah shines more than it all combined.

Verse 2

In the song’s second verse, Tom consoles Delilah who is “all alone” in the great city of New York by saying that the distance between them is just a number. If she ever feels lonely and needs someone to keep her company, Tom is there for her.

Tom sings it too “Give this song another listen / Close your eyes / Listen to my voice, it’s my disguise.” “ In a way, this song is meant to keep him company in the big city. If she ever feels lonely, she can always close her eyes and listen to this song and know that there is always someone by her side.

In another way, this song is Tom’s attempt to enchant him. He wishes that maybe if she listened to him one more time, would she change her mind about him? Maybe the reason Tom calls this song his “disguise” is because he thinks he’s not good enough for her in real life. However, this song is golden, and Tom knew it. So, he wasn’t afraid to use this song as a mask to wear.


Repetition “Oh that’s what you do to me” the lyrics in the chorus of the song really bring out what the singer desires. In reality, she didn’t do anything to him except to be exceptionally beautiful in his eyes, and maybe be a good person on top of that. So Tom Higgenson had every good reason to fall in love with her, and he did. Her looks, her words, her walks and her smiles are all she does to him!

Verse 3

In the song’s third verse, Tom makes a promise to Delilah that no matter how difficult times may be, he will always be there for her. He plays on the tradition that “musicians are broke” to promise him that one day he will grow big enough to pay the bills with his music; “We will have the life we ​​knew we had. “

plainwhitets 1589302841183 - Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review
Delilah DiCrescenzo attending the 2008 Grammy Awards with Tom Higgenson and members of Plain White T’s (Image: distract)

Verse 4

In the song’s fourth verse, Tom Higgenson kind of admits defeat. He knows she’s taken and he also knows that her song can’t influence her feelings for him. Tom Higgenson could probably write a hundred more lines or a hundred songs about her, but he knows it won’t do him any good. If those lyrics could influence his feelings by 1%, he would write a hundred songs!


In the song’s bridge, Tom Higgenson feels like the physical distance between the two is perhaps the biggest obstacle between them. She only had to ask and he would be there by her side, physically too.

The lyrics “But they have planes, trains and cars” could also be a reference to the 1980s film “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” a story about a disparate couple’s wacky journey from New York to Chicago, the two cities on which this song is based.

Tom Higgenson promises Delilah that “That by the time we’re done / The world will never be the same.” While this can represent a feeling of love and romance, it can also be interpreted as coming to terms with the reality of their relationship. By the time this song is out and his true feelings are confessed in the most romantic way possible, if Delilah wasn’t with him, the world would never be the same, in a bad way! The words “And you are to blame” fits perfectly in this context if taken literally. However, it is highly doubtful that the singer is saying anything hurtful even from a distance in these lyrics to Delilah.

Verse 5

In the last verse of “Hey There Delilah”, Tom Higgenson looks for an optimistic future for them. He counts the days until Delilah is done with college and returns to her hometown of Chicago, where Tom also lives. The singer is ambitious, as he promises that he will make history with his music and “everything is your fault.” Let the irony of those lyrics kick in. “Hey There Delilah,” inspired by Delilah DiCrescenzo, became Plain White T’s most successful single to date. The lyrics literally came true except for the “get the girl” part.

Discover this slowed down and reverberated version of “Hey There Delilah”

The reality of the situation is that Delilah DiCrescenzo had a boyfriend from college to keep her company and throughout the song’s success too.

So, are these words of Tom Higgenson lost? Not at all. Millions of people have listened to “Hey There Delilah” and comforted themselves for decades so far, and will do so for decades to come.

Let us hear how moved you by these words in the comments below. Check out the full lyrics on Genius.

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