James – Sit Down

James - Sit Down

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James - Sit Down


"Sit Down" is a song by English band James, originally released in 1989 by Rough Trade Records.

The song's lyrics were written in the autumn of 1988 as a homage to author Doris Lessing and singer Patti Smith, who had inspired the lead singer of James, Tim Booth. In its seven-and-a-half-minute original form, the song only reached number 77 on the UK Singles Chart (although it did make number eight in John Peel's Festive Fifty of that year).

After experiencing success as part of the Madchester music scene, a new version was released in March 1991 that was shorter and with new lyrics. It reached number two on the UK Singles Chart, spending three weeks there. It was the 20th best-selling single of 1991 in the UK.

In 2013, the song placed 4th in a poll by BBC Radio 2 and the Official Charts Company to find the greatest track to miss out on the number one spot in the UK charts. In the same year, James performed the song with Peter Kay for Comic Relief. On March 30, 2017 a version of the song was used in the promo of the seventh season of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.


In an interview with Dave Simpson of The Guardian on the effect of the song, James guitarist Larry Gott stated,

“Sit Down is one of those songs that encourages people to put their arms around strangers. As soon as we launch into the opening bars, they start smiling. Then they turn to someone next to them or their girlfriend or boyfriend and hug them, and then they start singing every single word. As a musician, that's incredibly humbling.”

In popular culture

In 2006Sit Down was used as a featured song in BBC Three's Manchester Passion, in which lead singer Tim Booth also appeared as Judas IscariotDarren Morfitt, in the role of Jesus, sang a less upbeat rendition of the piece to his resting disciples while the presenter signalled the audience to sit down. Booth sang the song in an encore after the credits.

On 4 June 2017, Coldplay performed "Sit Down" at the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, before performing their song "Fix You".

Fans of Premier League club Liverpool rewrote the lyrics of this song in 2018 as a new terrace chant for 2017-18 Premier League Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah. James' lead singer Tim Booth thought the version was witty and welcomed its use for one of the world's best footballers.

The chorus of "Sit Down" was sung in the CBeebies programme Show Me Show Me, when trying to see which toy would come sit next to presenter Chris, except the last line "in sympathy" was replaced with "next to me".


James are an English rock band from Manchester, who were formed in 1982 and enjoyed popularity throughout the 1990s. The band's best-known singles include "Come Home", "Sit Down", "She's a Star" and "Laid", which also became a hit on American college radio.

Following the departure of lead singer Tim Booth in 2001, the band became inactive, but reunited in January 2007 and has gone on to produce a further six albums. James's hit single "Come Home" was voted the greatest ever Manchester anthem in a radio poll.

Live performance has continually remained a central part of the band's output. As of 2010, the band had sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.

James sono un gruppo musicale rock di Manchester (Inghilterra), formatosi nel 1982. Dopo lo scioglimento avvenuto nel 2001, si sono riuniti nel 2007.

Sono formati dal cantante Tim Booth (originario di Bradford), il bassista Jim Glennie, il chitarrista Larry Gott, Saul Davies, Mark Hunter, David Baynton-Power e Andy Diagram. Hanno fatto parte del gruppo il chitarrista Paul Gilbertson (membro fondatore, che abbandonato il gruppo dopo il primo EP) ed il batterista Gavan Whelan.

La band ha ottenuto i suoi maggior successi tra la fine degli anni 80 e la metà degli anni novanta con hit come Say SomethingSit Down e Laid. Fino al 2010 hanno venduto circa 25 milioni di dischi.



I'll sing myself to sleep
A song from the darkest hour
Secrets I can't keep inside of the day
Swing from high to lean
Extremes of sweet and sour
Hope that God exists
I hope, I pray

Drawn by the undertow
My life is out of control
I believe this wave will bear my weight
So let it flow

Oh sit down, oh sit down, oh sit down
Sit down next to me
Sit down, down, down, down, down
In sympathy

I'm relieved to hear
That you've been to some far out places
It's hard to carry on
When you feel all alone
Now I've swung back down again
It's worse than it was before
If I hadn't seen such riches
I could live with being poor


Those who feel the breath of sadness
Sit down next to me
Those who find they're touched by madness
Sit down next to me
Those who find themselves ridiculous
Sit down next to me

In love and fear and hate and tears (x3)
In love and fear and hate



Canterò per addormentarmi
una canzone che viene dai momenti più bui
Segreti che non posso custodire durante il giorno
Oscillo dall'elevato al piegato
Estremi di dolce e amaro
Spero Dio esista
Spero, prego

Attratto dalla risacca
La mia vita è fuori controllo
Credo che questa onda sorregga il mio peso
Quindi lascio che sia

Oh, siedi
Siedi accanto a me
in sostegno

Sono sollevato a sentire
che tu sei stata in qualche posto lontano
E' dura tirare avanti
Quando ti senti completamente solo
Ho oscillato indietro di nuovo
E' peggio di prima
Se non avessi visto tali ricchezze
Avrei potuto vivere da povero


Coloro che sentono il respiro della tristezza
Siedono accanto a me
Coloro che vengono sfiorati dalla pazzia
Siedono accanto a me
Coloro che si trovano ridicoli
Siedono accanto a me

Nell'amore e la paura e l'odio e le lacrime (x3)
Nell'amore e la paura e l'odio


Official Live

Live 2001

Live 2018

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