I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)

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"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)"
Single by Sandi Thom
from the album Smile... It Confuses People
B-side "A Light as Bright as Ours"
"May You Never"
"No More Heroes"
"Something in the Air"
Released 3 October 2005
22 May 2006 (re-release)
Format CD single, maxi single, 7" single, digital download
Recorded 2005
Genre Pop, folk pop, R&B, gospel
Length 2:30
Label BMG
Writer(s) Tom Gilbert, Sandi Thom
Certification 2× Platinum (ARIA)
Silver (BPI)[1]
Sandi Thom singles chronology
"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)"
(2005)
"What If I'm Right"
(2006)
Re-issued cover art
Cover art for 2006 release

"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" is the debut single by Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom. The song was written by Tom Gilbert and Thom herself. The song was originally released in October 2005 by Viking Legacy Records, reaching number 55 in the UK Singles Chart. It was re-released in May 2006 on Sony's RCA Records label, and went on to be the UK's fifth best selling single of the year.[2] Also successful in Australia, it was on the ARIA Charts for ten weeks at number-one, and finished the year as the country's highest selling single and accrediting double platinum. The music video was shot in Bethnal Green in London.

Although only released physically on 22 May 2006 in the UK, download sales the week before are counted for the purpose of charts, and it achieved number fifteen on this basis in the general charts (and number seven in the download-only chart). The physical release had three formats: two CD versions (one featuring the radio mix and "A Light as Bright as Ours", another featuring the radio mix, the album mix, a further remix, "May You Never" and the music video), and also as a 7" vinyl record backed with Stranglers cover "No More Heroes".

The single sold 39,797 copies in the week ending 4 June 2006, enough to reach number one, knocking Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" off the top spot after it was withdrawn following a nine week run. The song was nominated for "Record of the Year", but lost to "Patience" by Take That.

Thom has been the subject of criticism by many artists within the recording world, most notably from Lily Allen, The Fratellis and The Automatic. James Frost and Robin Hawkins from The Automatic stated that "If she was a punk rocker with flowers in her hair she'd get the shit kicked out of her by other punk rockers, for having flowers in her hair. [...] I haven't found anyone who's told me they like that song and bought it."[3] Charlie Brooker also heavily criticised the intense public relations efforts to make the single popular.[4]

Inspiration[edit]

Thom has said on her website that, she wrote the song after being robbed of her mobile phone and other belongings one evening, leaving her completely lost and without any way of contacting her family, friends, or the bank. She says, "I wondered if that had happened to me back in the days of the hippies what would I have done and would I have freaked out so much?" [sic] "[5] However, there have been much discussion on various websites about the inspiration for the song. There were rumors that she was an anarchist, or that she wrote it out of her love for Woodstock.

Track listings[edit]

Original release, CD 1
  1. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)"
  2. "Little Remedy"
    (Also included on Smile... It Confuses People.)
Original release, CD 2
  1. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)"
  2. "Something in the Air"
  3. "No More Heroes"
  4. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (Video)
Re-release, CD 1
  1. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (Radio Mix)
  2. "A Light as Bright as Ours"
Re-release, CD 2
  1. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (Radio Mix)
  2. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (Album Version)
  3. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (Mutiny's Rockers & Lovers Mix)
  4. "May You Never"
  5. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (Video)
Re-release, 7"
  1. "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (Radio Mix)
  2. "No More Heroes"

Charts[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[6] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 27
Germany (Media Control Charts)[8] 16
France (SNEP)[9] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[11] 36
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 62
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 1

Release history[edit]

  • 3 October 2005 (UK)
  • 22 May 2006 (UK re-issue)
  • 20 June 2006 (US)
  • 22 July 2006 (Australia, New Zealand)

References[edit]

External links[edit]