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)"
Punkrocker-1.jpg
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, gospel
Length 2:30
Label BMG
Songwriter(s) Tom Gilbert, Sandi Thom
Producer(s) Ian Brown, Stephen Darrell Smith
Sandi Thom singles chronology
"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)"
(2005)
"What If I'm Right"
(2006)

"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
Cover art for 2006 release

"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" is the début single by Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom. The song was written by Thom and Tom Gilbert.

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][1] However, there have been much discussion on various websites about the inspiration for the song. There were rumours that she was an anarchist, or that she wrote it out of her love for Woodstock.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The music video was shot in Bethnal Green in London.

Reception[edit]

Sales[edit]

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. It also received a 2× Platinum certification from the ARIA.

Although only physically released in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2006, 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 3 June 2006, enough to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart, 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.

Criticism[edit]

Thom has been the subject of criticism by many artists within the recording world, most notably from Lily Allen, The Fratellis and The Automatic.[3] 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."[4] Charlie Brooker also heavily criticised the intense public relations efforts to make the single popular.[5]

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]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[25] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[26] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Gold 400,000^
Sweden (GLF)[28] Gold 10,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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]

  1. ^ "ST Track Inspiration : Punk Rocker". sandithom.com. 
  2. ^ Top 40 Singles of 2006, from BBC Radio One website
  3. ^ Cummings, Tony (2 January 2009). "Sandi Thom: No longer a punk rocker with flowers in her hair". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  4. ^ "Monster Stink". BBC.co.uk. 27 June 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  5. ^ Brooker, Charlie (9 June 2006). "Supposing ... Sandi Thom is the musical antichrist". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 2013-09-01. 
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  7. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (in French). Ultratip.
  9. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  10. ^ "Lescharts.com – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (in French). Les classement single.
  11. ^ "Chart Track: Week 23, 2006". Irish Singles Chart.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  13. ^ "Charts.nz – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)". Singles Top 100.
  16. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  17. ^ "Sandi Thom: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2006". ARIA. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  19. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts 2006" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  20. ^ "Best of Singles 2006". IRMA. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  21. ^ "End Of Year Charts 2006". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  22. ^ "Årslista Singlar - År 2006" (in Swedish). Hitlistan. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  23. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 - 2006". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  24. ^ "Classement Singles - année 2007" (in French). Disque en France. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2018. 
  25. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  26. ^ "Irish single certifications – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)". Irish Recorded Music Association. 
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Sandi Thom – I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)". British Phonographic Industry.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) in the search field and then press Enter.
  28. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2006" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 

External links[edit]