Heartattack in a Layby (4:15)

Cover of In Absentia

From In Absentia and 5 other releases

Heartattack in a Layby is the tenth song on Porcupine Tree’s seventh studio album In Absentia.

In September 2011 Wilson declared on his Facebook-page that Heartattack In A Layby is one of the 20 songs he’s most proud of during his career.

Under a Blackfield-interview Wilson got the following question: “…I know you don’t really want to talk about Porcupine Tree right now, but I have to ask you about my favorite song of yours, “Heartattack In A Layby.” Frankly, I think it’s a work of genius, and I wonder what made you write it.”

SW: “Oh, well thank you. It’s one of my favorites of mine, too. I think that for me, one of the things that’s always been the most heartbreaking about the human condition is the idea of regret. Regret for not having said what you should’ve said at the time or done what you should’ve done. Regret for not following your instincts and married the right person when you had the chance. All of that stuff. I think it’s terribly sad human quality, and “Heartattack In A Layby” is about regret. It’s all about a guy basically dying in a Layby and thinking about the way he’s left home the day before, the night before, the week before, or whenever. That incredibly potent sense of regret for not resolving this argument or row or whatever it was. I just thought it was a really beautiful image. Actually, when I started writing the song, it was about a man who’d been shot and he was lying in a Layby.


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  • phcapricorn


    22 Jul 8:58am Reply
  • Ennish

    This song ranks high on my list of the saddest songs I've ever heard, so much so that I don't listen to it all that often. Nevertheless, it's still a hauntingly beautiful song and probably one of the most emotionally-jarring songs Steven Wilson's ever written. Those layered vocals are out of this world. [3]

    20 May 1:08am Reply
  • jpeiper

    Love, love, love this song. Never gets old. And never fails to register.

    4 Apr 8:27pm Reply
  • SteveGeek

    Just reading something about the track "Reich" by No-Man (check it out) and it mentioned "Heart Attack in a Layby" as another sad but beautiful song...wow, I'd forgotten how much I love this track.

    10 Feb 7:07pm Reply
  • LeCoinNawak

    so much emotion

    28 Jan 10:00am Reply
  • Nympholeptic

    The song is about me ... I'm sure

    21 Jan 9:27pm Reply
  • Assedor

    Bright and light images of gentle melodies are uplifting a mood. Each tune has some mystery and reticence, and the musical atmosphere makes the listener to dream.

    30 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Voyage43

    still gives me goosebumps after all those years [2]

    17 Nov 2013 Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski


    6 Nov 2013 Reply
  • poohliveslarge

    still gives me goosebumps after all those years

    14 Oct 2013 Reply
  • FallenDramon

    I literally find it hard to breathe when I listen to this...so beautifully sad

    20 Sep 2013 Reply
  • mk741

    Requiem for a pedophile.

    5 Jun 2013 Reply
  • katybdi

    I'm perfectly fine but I just need to lie down.....

    1 Jun 2013 Reply
  • firefly2811

    great harmonics on this one. great sound

    24 May 2013 Reply
  • katybdi

    lots of love for this music...

    15 May 2013 Reply
  • Masevah

    The saddest song I've ever heard... Fuck does this mean I'm a masochist?

    1 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Zerashkulina

    I just have to say that the acoustic guitar is so perfectly placed in this song. Chill inducing every time it kicks in. And the vocals/lyrics are just so, heartbreaking.

    11 Mar 2013 Reply
  • poeticonspiracy

    Those layered vocals are out of this world. [2} Indeed. This song is just so painfully gorgeous. An absolute favourite for sure.

    9 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Blo0dyDude

    An absolute masterpiece [2]

    1 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Deardeadfriend

    The " We will grow old together... We will grow old together..." part is painfully sad.

    3 Dec 2012 Reply
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