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This article is about the song by James Blunt. For other uses of the term, see Wise men (disambiguation).
Single by James Blunt
from the album Back to Bedlam
Released 7 March 2005
Format CD single
Recorded 2004 Los Angeles, California
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:42 (Album version)
3:17 (Radio edit)
Label Atlantic, Custard Records, RCA Label Group
Writer(s) J. Blunt
J. Hogarth
S. Skarbek
Producer(s) Tom Rothrock
Jimmy Hogarth
James Blunt singles chronology
"You're Beautiful"
2006 Re-release cover

"Wisemen" is a pop rock song written by British singer James Blunt, Jimmy Hogarth and Sacha Skarbek for Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam. The song was produced by Tom Rothrock and Jimmy Hogarth. The song was released as the second single in the first quarter of 2005 and reached the top fifty in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 44. Following the success of "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover", "Wisemen" was re-released in the spring of 2006, number 21 in New Zealand, and at number 23 in the UK. The song was met with positive reviews.

Music videos[edit]

The first music video, released in tandem with the first UK release of the single, has Blunt and his band performing in the Café de Paris. The only occupants of the café are three middle-aged men, supposedly businessmen, who are accompanied by a young woman. The woman stands and begins to dance in the middle of the room but is ignored by the men. Three masked men, supposedly the wisemen, then enter and kidnap Blunt, putting him into a car and driving to the shore where he is imprisoned in a hastily constructed shack by the seaside, in reference to the lyric, "Those three wisemen, they've got a semi by the sea." The masks were constructed from moulds cast from Blunt's own face. The second version, which was released in tandem with the UK re-release of the single, has Blunt burning his personal papers and passport in a forest before slowly internally combusting. This video has been released to the US market. During a guest-hosting slot on the BBC2 program "Never Mind The Buzzcocks", James was asked what the line meant and said that "Semi" referred to a "semi-automatic rifle".


The initial release was available on three physical formats. The CD single includes an exclusive live performance of "No Bravery". The DVD includes the original video for "Wisemen", exclusive "Making-Of" footage and a live audio recording of "Out of My Mind". The 7" Vinyl includes a live performance of "Billy".[1] The re-release was also available on three physical formats, containing a similar track listing. CD1 includes a live performance of "Out of My Mind", taken from the initial DVD single; CD2 includes the live performances of "No Bravery" and "Out of My Mind", plus the video for "Wisemen"; and the limited edition one-sided 7" Vinyl features "Wisemen" only. The song was also included on the Australian compilation album NOW Winter 2006.[2]

Track listings[edit]

  • 2005
  1. "Wisemen" - 3:45
  2. "No Bravery" (Live) - 3:24
  1. "Wisemen" (Audio) - 3:45
  2. "Wisemen" (Video) - 3:50
  3. "High" (Video) - 3:45
  4. "Wisemen" (The Making of the Video) - 3:00
7" Vinyl
  1. "Wisemen" - 3:45
  2. "Billy" (Live) - 4:12
  • 2006
  1. "Wisemen" - 3:45
  2. "Out of My Mind" (Live at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC) - 3:22
  1. "Wisemen" - 3:45
  2. "No Bravery" (Live) - 3:16
  3. "Out of My Mind" (Live at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC) - 3:00
7" Vinyl
  1. "Wisemen" - 3:45

Chart performance[edit]

On 7 March 2005, "Wisemen" was released in the United Kingdom. The song became Blunt's first single not to chart within the top 40 on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number forty-four. It was re-released in the UK the following March and became his fourth top 40 single when it peaked at number 23 on the singles chart, and spent a total of six weeks in the top 75. It reached number eleven in Australia and became his third single to reach the top 20. In Canada, the song became an airplay hit, reaching number three on the BDS Airplay chart.


Chart (2005) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 44
Chart (2006) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[5] 11
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 15
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[7] 2
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[8] 1
Canadian Singles Chart 10
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[9] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[10] 40
Ireland (IRMA) 36
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 17
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 21
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[13] 18
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 38
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 23
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 23


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 200,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "James Blunt - Wisemen (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Now Winter 2006 (Australia)". Destiny's NOW Music. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "James Blunt Wisemen UK 3 DISC CD/DVD SET (542826)". Eil.com. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "JAMES BLUNT-WISEMEN-3 TRACK SINGLE-BRAND NEW-COLLECTABL | eBay". Cgi.ebay.co.uk. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Australian-charts.com – James Blunt – Wisemen". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Austriancharts.at – James Blunt – Wisemen" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Ultratop.be – James Blunt – Wisemen" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – James Blunt – Wisemen" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  9. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert {{{year}}}{{{week}}} into search. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – James Blunt – Wisemen". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – James Blunt – Wisemen" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Charts.org.nz – James Blunt – Wisemen". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  13. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200641 into search.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – James Blunt – Wisemen". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Swisscharts.com – James Blunt – Wisemen". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – James Blunt – Wisemen". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 18, 2016.  Enter Wisemen in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search