Wildflower (Skylark song)

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Wildflower - Skylark.jpg
Single by Skylark
from the album Skylark
B-side"The Writing's on the Wall"
ReleasedFebruary 1973
  • Doug Edwards
  • David Richardson
Producer(s)Eirik Wangberg
Skylark singles chronology
"What Would I Do Without You"
"I'll Have to Go Away"

"Wildflower" is a song written by Doug Edwards and Dave Richardson in 1972. First performed by the Canadian band Skylark, it has been covered by many artists and more recently has been sampled in a number of hip hop songs.

The title, "Wildflower", is not mentioned in the song. The closest line to the title occurs as the final line of the repeated chorus: "She's a free and gentle flower growing wild".

Skylark recording[edit]

Doug Edwards was a member of Skylark, and Dave Richardson was a friend of band member and organizer David Foster. "Wildflower" was a song which Edwards composed after reading Richardson's poem; the song was included on the band's demo tape. Barry De Vorzon, by 1972 an established music business name, heard the demo tape and was convinced that the song would be a big hit. After the demo was rejected by several studios, an executive at Capitol Records signed the band and the song—with Donny Gerrard doing the vocal—was included on their eponymous first album.[1] The initial single released from the album was not successful. Rosalie Trombley, a music director at CKLW, a Canadian radio station in Windsor, Ontario, played "Wildflower", at that time an album cut, repeatedly for three months in an effort to satisfy the Canadian government's requirements for Canadian content.[1][2] During that period, it was the only radio station in North America to have the song on its playlist.[2] Capitol decided to release the song in neighboring Detroit as a regional release, where it became a huge soul hit before breaking out nationally and crossing over to the pop charts. Eventually "Wildflower" spent 21 weeks on the Billboard pop chart.[2] The song proved to be extremely popular in Canada as well; it ultimately peaked at number 10 on the RPM Top Singles chart,[3] and number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[4] Total sales of the single exceeded one million copies, and it was included on their second album as well, at the request of Capitol Records executives who sought to capitalize on the song's success.[5] Ultimately, the song was their only single to chart in the United States.

The song was #68 in RPM Magazine's Top 100 CanCon songs 1964-1996.[6]

Chart history[edit]

Other versions[edit]

"Wildflower" has been covered by many artists, including Color Me Badd, Hank Crawford, Johnny Mathis, Lisa Fischer, Gary Morris, Creative Source, New Birth, The O'Jays,[12] Marlena Shaw, Lana Wolf, and Silk.[13]

New Birth's version of the tune features enhancements to the original melody, including a more instrumentally complex introduction, later directly sampled in Jamie Foxx's hit song "Unpredictable," and a spoken monologue from lead singer Leslie Wilson during the bridge. This version became a bona fide hit in its own right, cracking the top 20 on the R&B singles chart in 1974.

The Gary Morris version of the song was released as a single in 1986, and reached number 21 on the RPM Adult Contemporary chart in February of that year.[14]

The Hank Crawford recording of "Wildflower" was sampled by 2Pac on his song "Shorty Wanna Be a Thug" and by Kanye West and Paul Wall on their song "Drive Slow";[15] This track was used by Eminem on Slim Shady EP in 1997 with the track "No One's Iller".[16] The Hank Crawford cover was also more recently sampled by Boi-1da on the Lil Wayne featured "Miss Me" from labelmate Drake's debut album Thank Me Later[17] and in 2009 by J. Cole for his track "Dreams" from his mixtape The Warm Up.[18] In 2017, it was covered by Arnel Pineda of Journey and serves as the main theme song of the TV drama series of the same title in the Philippines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Foster, David; Fenjves, Pablo F. (2008). Hit Man. New York: Pocket Books. pp. 57–60. ISBN 978-1-439-10306-7.
  2. ^ a b c Freedland, Nat (September 15, 1973). "Skylark flying on 'Flower" Power". Billboard. p. 17. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "RPM Top Singles Chart, May 19, 1973". RPM. May 19, 1973. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  4. ^ a b "RPM Adult Contemporary Chart, May 26, 1973". RPM. May 26, 1973. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  5. ^ "The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia: Skylark". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  6. ^ "RPM Top 100 CanCon Tracks - June 24, 1996" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Billboard Hot 100, Week of May 26, 1973". Billboard. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. __.
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles of 1973". bac-lac.gc.ca. RPM. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1973 - Billboard Year End Charts". bobborst.com. Billboard. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  11. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1973". tropicalglen.com. Cash Box. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Repertoire Search:Wildflower". Broadcast Music Incorporated. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  13. ^ Wildflower, info, covered 2010
  14. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Chart, February 22, 1986". RPM. February 22, 1986. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  15. ^ Lively, Tarron (August 29, 2005). "Register a hit for Kanye West". The Washington Times. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  16. ^ "All 289 Eminem Songs, Ranked:84. "No One's Iller"". Spin. October 27, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "The Making Of Drake's "Thank Me Later"". Complex. June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  18. ^ "30 Songs You Didn't Know Were Samples". Vibe. January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2016.

External links[edit]