Decades have passed and fans have been wondering about Sally from Oasis‘ megahit ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ The real-life identity of the song’s central figure has been a question that Noel Gallagher has been asked for decades.
Noel Gallagher reveals who Sally is
Initially, fans seemed to think that it was ‘Sally Cinnamon’, the same girl who occupies the lyrics to the Stone Roses song of the same name. Gallagher was, and is a massive Stone Roses fan, so there’s a chance that some of that fandom crossed over into his own songwriting.
“When I heard ‘Sally Cinnamon’ for the first time, I knew what my destiny was,” Gallagher explained [via Far Out Magazine]. “We thought back in the day that you had to go to college or to be an art student to be in a band… Or be Paul Weller. And when I first went to see The Roses, they dressed the same. This is before the flares and all that. Nobody was cool in those days, they all wore drainpipe trousers and all that, but they looked exactly the same as we did in around about ’88, ’89 when it all went into colour…”
But more recently, Gallagher has shed some new light on who the mysterious Sally could be.
“I have no recollection of writing that,” Gallagher told Cerys Matthews on the BBC programme First and Last. “We were on tour, and once the gig finished, it turned into a strip club. And I often wonder, ‘Is Sally a stripper I met?’ Because we went out on a night out, and I woke up the next day, and there was the song on a piece of paper. No recollection of writing it.”
“It’s clearly about a woman of a certain age who is looking back on her life and thinking, ‘I am who I am, and that’s it,’” Gallagher said. “And she’s kind of raising a toast to it. When you get to our age, it’s all about acceptance anyway. Accepting who you are and what you’ve become and what you’ve been, and how you got there. And that’s how I see it.”
It seems that people looking for the exact identity of “Sally” will probably never know unless Gallagher manages to mine the far reaches of his memory sometime soon. It’s probably better not to know anyway: ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ is a universal song, one that doesn’t need its central character to be known in order to translate throughout the decades.