Stereophonics’ “Dakota” Lyrics Meaning   

The verses of “Dakota” follow the trajectory of the relationship between the vocalist and addressee, from the former’s perspective. 

Verse 1

In the first verse, we find him reminiscing back to yesteryear, to the puppy love stage of said union. And matters are depicted as being as pleasant and carefree as one would imagine during that stage. Indeed in those days, even enjoying a common, everyday treat, such as “chewing gum”, was made enjoyable so long as the two lovebirds were by each other’s side.


But listeners are given a solid, even if somewhat roundabout clue, that something is amiss once we get to the chorus. Therein, Kelly acknowledges that the addressee indeed “made (him) feel like the one”. In other words, he was convinced that there was a mutual understanding between the two of them that they were made for each other. But the way he relays that acknowledgement is in the past, not present, tense.

Stereophonics' "Dakota" Lyrics

Verse 2

The second verse is similar to the first, i.e. harping back to the days when the vocalist and addressee were not only romantic interests but also besties. But one interesting thing to point out is that Kelly alludes to the two of them ‘never going far’. In context, that sentiment can be taken as another way of saying that they never had sex, even though opportunities arose for them to do so. Perhaps in the grand scheme of things, that observation can be taken as inconsequential. But at the same time, there must be a reason that Kelly is acknowledging such.

Verse 3

In any event, by the time the bridge and subsequent third verse rolls around, respectively we see that now the vocalist is now doubtful of the future of this relationship and that he and the addressee have gone their separate ways, to the extent that he doesn’t know when or if they’ll meet again.

Long and Short of “Dakota”

So it’s obvious that what’s being put forth conclusively, also taking the outro into consideration, is an inability on the part of the vocalist to get over this relationship. The title itself appears to have no bearing on the narrative but is rather a recognition of the state (i.e. South Dakota) in which Kelly Jones wrote the song.

And now in hindsight yes, him inferring that he and the addressee never slept together is an important revelation. That’s because then, the notion of this being a true love instead of one built on sex really comes through. But at the same time, if you’re met with such a situation – a person stuck in the past romantically, still being preoccupied with an association that otherwise appears dead, in which sex also was not involved – then that’s a conclusion you’re likely to come to anyway, that the addressee was truly “the one” in his eyes.

Release Date of “Dakota”

“Dakota” is undoubtedly one of the most successful songs by Welsh rock collective Stereophonics. This tune was released from the group’s fifth studio album “Language. Sex. Violence. Other?”.

The track, which was issued as the lead single of the above-named album, was officially put out on 28 February of 2005. This song and its entire album were both issued by V2 Records.

“Dakota” proved to be a major commercial success in the UK. It topped the official singles chart there, and became the first song from the group to achieve this feat. In addition, the track also made some waves in the US, although it did not chart on the famous Hot 100.


Group member and songwriter Kelly Jones authored this song all by himself. Jones was also involved in producing the song. The Welsh musical phenom received production assistance from Jim Lowe.  

Jones has referred to “Dakota” as a song that is partly “biographical and part imagination”.

Awards and Accolades

In addition to achieving a 2x Platinum status in the UK, “Dakota” has been rated highly by several publications. For instance, it was rated at #8 by music magazine Q on their list of “Readers 100 Greatest Tracks of 2005”.

This tune was notably covered by English folk duo, Show of Hands. Their version was included on their fourteenth studio album “Covers 2”.  A cover by Australian singer San Mei was released in 2020.

“Dakota” has been used extensively in the media. For example, it was used in the BBC comedy series “Him & Her”. This track can also be heard on the soccer video game, “Pro Evolution Soccer 2010”.

Other Facts pertaining to “Dakota”

This single was originally called “Vermilion”, but was later changed to its current title. The change in the song’s original name was mainly because it had a similar title with a couple of other songs including a 2004 track by American group Slipknot entitled “Vermilion”.

This tune was released in the US with the title “Dakota (You Made Me Feel Like the One)”.



“Language. Sex. Violence. Other?” was first issued on March 14 of 2005. A few days later, the album was officially released in the US, on March 22.

In addition to “Dakota”, three other singles accompanied this album. “Superman”, the project’s second single, was issued in the summer of 2005. And the final two singles, “Devil” and “Rewind”, were released on September 19 and November 21 of 2005, respectively.

Like its lead single, the album was also a big success in the United Kingdom. It soared to #1 on the main albums chart there, and was awarded double-Platinum certification by the BPI.  

An amazing fact about this project is that all the songs on its track listing have single-word titles.

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