White Flag (song)

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"White Flag"
White Flag Dido.jpg
Single by Dido
from the album Life for Rent
B-side "Paris"
Released 1 September 2003 (2003-09-01)
Format CD single
Genre Pop
Length 4:01 (album version)
3:40 (radio edit)
Label Arista
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Rollo Armstrong
  • Dido Armstrong
Dido singles chronology
"Feels Like Fire"
(2003)
"White Flag"
(2003)
"Life for Rent"
(2003)

"Feels Like Fire"
(2003)
"White Flag"
(2003)
"Life for Rent"
(2003)

"White Flag" is a song by English singer-songwriter Dido, released as the lead single from her second studio album Life for Rent on 1 September 2003. The song is considered one of her signature songs, and helped Life for Rent sell over ten million copies worldwide. The song was nominated for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards, but lost to Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful". It won the Best British Single at the 2004 Brit Awards.

The song ranked on Blender's list "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" at number 317.[1] The single fared very well on the charts around the world, peaking at number one in Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and Norway; number two on the Irish Singles Chart, and number 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song reached number two in the UK being kept off the top spot by the UK top selling single of the year, "Where Is the Love?". The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn features actor David Boreanaz as Dido's love interest.

The song has been used in several TV series, Smallville, The Inbetweeners, Medium, The Sopranos, Tru Calling, Cold Case, Winners & Losers, and films Perfect Stranger and Mommy. Carly Rae Jepsen performed a cover version of the song on Canadian Idol.

Background and composition[edit]

"White Flag" was written and produced by Dido, Rollo Armstrong and Rick Nowels.[2] In the song, the protagonist is unwilling to give up, even if she knows her relationship is over.[3]

"White Flag" features "multi-layered" sound, delicate piano outro, and strings.[3] The song is written in the key of F major (the verse starts on the minor parallel) with a tempo of 90 beats per minute, and Dido's vocals range from the low note of A3 to the high note of C5.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

David Jeffries from AllMusic praised "Dido's sweet delivery" and stated that "It’s all very beautiful, the perfect soundtrack for weeping, and the definition of "wistful" in a song."[3] Derryck Strachan wrote for BBC Music that the song is "engaging to the extent that you could easily be humming along without it registering in your brain. There's something unconscious, pleasantly innocuous about it. It's comfort food for the ears and it could be easily on a Tom HanksMeg Ryan romantic comedy."[5] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian wrote that the song "is a superb, confidently written pop song, possessed of a chorus that is impossible to dislodge from your memory without the aid of hypnotherapy."[6]

Awards and success[edit]

The song was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2004 Grammy Awards, but lost to Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful".[7] The song won the award for "Best Single" at the 2004 BRIT Awards.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, features actor David Boreanaz as Dido's love interest.[8]

The video tells a story about a relationship that is over, but where Dido is obviously still smitten with her ex, who is oblivious to her. They have numerous occasions where they are near each other without him noticing. Dido is clearly still not over him, while he doesn't seem to really notice she is there.

At the end of the video, they return to their apartments and Dido's room is filled with photos of him and, in a twist ending, his apartment is also filled with Dido's photos (showing he's still as much in love with her as well.)[9]

Track listings[edit]

UK CD single
  1. "White Flag" – 3:40
  2. "Paris" – 3:24
  3. "White Flag" (Johnny Toobad mix) – 6:17
USA CD single
  1. "White Flag" (radio edit) – 3:36
  2. "Stoned" (Deep Dish radio edit) – 4:02
  3. "Paris" – 3:24
  4. "White Flag" (video) – 3:40
USA DVD single
  1. "White Flag" (video) – 3:40
  2. "Life For Rent" (video) – 3:41
French CD single
  1. "White Flag" – 3:58
  2. "Paris" – 3:24

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Brazil 28 August 2003 Digital download Sony Music Entertainment

References[edit]

  1. ^ The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born: 301 - 350
  2. ^ "Dido - Life for Rent (album review) - Sputnikmusic". 21 June 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Jeffries, David. "White Flag - AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Dido - White Flag Digital Sheet Music". Music Notes. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Strachan, Derryck (20 June 2003). "Review of Dido - Life for Rent". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  6. ^ Petridis, Alexis (26 September 2003). "Dido "Life For Rent"". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  7. ^ "Dido - White Flag - Lyrics Meaning". Music Banner. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  8. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7225332/
  9. ^ "Dido - White Flag - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Dido – White Flag". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Dido – White Flag" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dido – White Flag" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dido – White Flag" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Dido – White Flag". Tracklisten.
  15. ^ "Dido: White Flag" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  16. ^ "Lescharts.com – Dido – White Flag" (in French). Les classement single.
  17. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Dido – White Flag". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  18. ^ "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 - 2004". Mahasz. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  19. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – White Flag". Irish Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Dido – White Flag". Top Digital Download.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 48, 2003" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Dido – White Flag" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Dido – White Flag". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Dido – White Flag". VG-lista.
  25. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 2007-06-25. 
  26. ^ "Top40-charts.com". Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  27. ^ Romanian Top 100: Editia 2, saptamina 12.01 - 18.01, 2004
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  29. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Dido – White Flag" Canciones Top 50.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Dido – White Flag". Singles Top 100.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Dido – White Flag". Swiss Singles Chart.
  32. ^ "Chart Stats - Dido - White Flag". The Official UK Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  33. ^ a b c d "White Flag - Dido". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  34. ^ "2003 Australian Singles Chart". aria. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  35. ^ "2003 Austrian Singles Chart" (in German). Austriancharts. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  36. ^ "2003 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  37. ^ "2003 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  38. ^ "2003 Dutch Single Chart" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  39. ^ "2003 French Singles Chart" (in French). SNEP. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  40. ^ https://www.offiziellecharts.de/charts/single-jahr/for-date-2003
  41. ^ "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 - 2004". Mahasz. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  42. ^ "2003 Irish Singles Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  43. ^ http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/hp_yends/hpe2003.htm
  44. ^ "2003 New Zealand Singles Chart". Rianz. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  46. ^ "2003 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Swisscharts. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  47. ^ http://www.ukchartsplus.co.uk/ChartsPlusYE2003.pdf
  48. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2003 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  49. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Dido – White Flag" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Dido in the field Interpret. Enter White Flag in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  50. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – singles 2003". Ultratop. Hung Medien. 
  51. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dido; 'White Flag')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  52. ^ "Norwegian single certifications – Dido – White Flag" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  53. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Dido; 'White Flag')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  54. ^ "British single certifications – Dido – White Flag". British Phonographic Industry.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter White Flag in the search field and then press Enter.
  55. ^ "American single certifications – Dido – White Flag". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]