You say you wander your own land
But when I think about it I don't see how you can
You're aching, you're breaking
And I can see the pain in your eyes
Says everybody's changing
And I don't know why
Everybody's Changing was written - as are most of Keane's songs - by pianist Tim Rice-Oxley, shortly after the band's erstwhile guitarist Dominic Scott left the band in 2001. It was a difficult time for Keane, as they were struggling to get a foothold in the industry and had seen musical peers go on to huge success without them (Tim Rice-Oxley had studied at University College London with Chris Martin, and had even been asked to join Coldplay at one point). Friends in their hometown of Battle were moving away and getting on with their lives, and Keane began to feel left behind. The loss of their guitarist seemed like another alienating change, although of course the lack of guitar would go on to become one of the defining elements of their sound, and therefore a key feature in their success.
Keane's lead singer Tom Chaplin said this of the meaning behind the song:
"The song is about trying to work out where you are in the world, while some of the people around you are going off and doing different things. Tim wrote it while we were really struggling to get anywhere as a band, and we were watching all our friends move away and get on with their lives, while we were stuck in Battle getting nowhere, and wondering if we were doing the right thing."
It's strangely fitting that 'Everybody's Changing' eventually became one of their biggest ever hits, and was a catalyst in pulling them out of their hometown of Battle and into the international limelight.