“Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” by Phil Collins

What is the meaning of the song “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” by Phil Collins?

In the year 1990, the British singer and songwriter Phil Collins released the hit song “Something Happened on the way to Heaven” from the album …but Seriously. Lyrically, this song tells the story of a man whose negative actions have led to the end of his relationship with his lover. He regrets his actions and wants his woman back. However, despite all his apologies and  sorries, he’s finding it really difficult getting her back.

The man gets so desperate he even  gets to the point where he begins exhibiting signs of obsessive love. For example, he hounds his lover relentlessly. Even going as far as saying she can run and hide, but he wouldn’t “leave till it’s over”. The song ends with the man begging his lover to believe him.

Lyrics of Something Happened on the Way to Heaven

Facts about “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven”

  • The song was co-written by Phil Collins and his longtime collaborator and friend American guitarist Daryl Stuermer.
  • Collins produced this track along with his longtime producer Hugh Padgham.
  • The track was released in April 1990 in the UK. In the United States, it was released in July of that same year. It was the 3rd single from Collins’ 4th studio album …But Seriously.
  • Because how famous the song’s line “How many times can I say I’m sorry?” is, many often mistake that to be the song’s title.
  • Collins and Stuermer originally wrote this piece for the 1989 American comedy film The War of the Roses starring Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito and Kathleen Turner. However, the film’s director DeVito disliked the song.
  • The title of the song appears only once in the lyrics.
  • The song’s cover art was taken from the 1946 British film A Matter of Life and DeathThe cover art of the single "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven".
  • Having peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100, the track one Collins’ most successful songs in America. On the UK Singles Chart, the track peaked at number 15.
  • This track was included in Collins’ famous Not Dead Yet Tour.


What musical genre is this piece?

It is a pop rock song.

Has “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” ever won a Grammy?


Which artists have covered or remixed this tune?

One of the most notable covers of this track was done in 2003 by Canadian singer and songwriter Deborah Cox. That same year, an electronic dance music remix of “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” was released. That version was so successful that it climbed to the top o the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay. At the top of this chart it stayed for 11 solid weeks.

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