Hey Soul Sister was written by Train lead singer Pat Monahan, and released in 2009 as the lead single from the band’s album, Save Me, San Francisco .
By 2012 the song had sold 6 million copies and won a Grammy for the live iTunes version.
The words allude to his vision of the Burning Man celebration held ever year in the Nevada desert.
According to Jimmy Stafford, one of the band members, in an interview with Annie Reuter,
“Pat had never been to Burning Man, but he had an image in his head of what it must be like. All these beautiful women dancing around the fire. That was the imagery he conjured up when he was writing the lyrics to, Hey, Soul Sister. It’s a pretty big deal. Thousands and thousands of people go to it every year. People run around naked and I guess it’s a total crazy deal.”
The use of the ukulele throughout Hey Soul Sister is fairly unusual, and gives it a whimsical feeling. Concerning the use of the ukulele Monahan said,
“One of the guys, Espen, who’s like a huge star in Norway, picked up a ukulele, and said, ‘Hey, how about this?’ I said, ‘Are you (kidding) me?’ And it made the difference. It made my words dance. It made sense. These words were meant to dance with ukulele and not guitar.”
The practice track is here along with many other samples.