Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker By Sandi Thom


Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

In '77 and '69 revolution was in the air

I was born too late into a world that doesn't care

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

I know what you're after, Sandy. The nihilism of punk mixed with the let's all love one another message of flower power. Lovely thought. But I'm afraid there's never been revolution in the air in the UK. Unless you mean the Thatcherite revolution which didn't reject old greedy capitalist values but turned them into a religion.

When the head of state didn't play guitar

Not everybody drove a car

It's true, neither Harold Wilson nor Jim Callaghan played the guitar. Harold played the squeezebox and used to keep Mary up all night. Jim played the mouth organ at the 100 Club R&B nights. That's R&B as in old style rhythm and blues, Sandi. And not everybody did drive a car. Although you may be surprised to learn that many people today either cannot afford to or don't want to drive a car.

When music really mattered and when radio was king

When accountants didn't have control

And the media couldn't buy your soul

And computers were still scary and we didn't know everything

Once again I agree that we didn't know everything then. But do you really think we know it all now? There's a lot of things out there still to be discovered, Sandi.


When pop stars still remained a myth

And ignorance could still be bliss

And when God saved the Queen she turned a whiter shade of pale

She's always been pale, Sandi. She's not one for lying in the sun.

My mom and dad were in their teens

And anarchy was still a dream

So your mum and dad are about my age? We didn't really dream of anarchy. They're having you on, matey. All we wanted was someone to love.

And the only way to stay in touch was a letter in the mail

No no no. We did have telephones, you know. It wasn't the dark ages.


When record shops were still on top

And vinyl was all that they stocked

And the super info highway was still drifting out in space

Kids were wearing hand me downs

Once again I think you haven't been told the whole truth by your parents. This was the 60s and 70s. OK, if families had a string of kids, they might get hand me downs. But working class mothers had their pride. Maybe they wouldn't take their kids on foreign holidays but they would buy their children clothes.

And playing games meant kick arounds

And footballers still had long hair and dirt across their face

Come on. Have you seen Robbie Savage?


I was born too late into a world that doesn't care

We care, Sandy. Honest, we do.

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair


  1. A brilliant analysis and one that actually makes me want to listen to the song. Just once, mind.

  2. I didn't know that the Queen played guitar.

  3. thank you, geoff, for effortlessly deconstructing this utter nonsense.

    damned catchy though, isn't it?

  4. Wyndham - The TOTP performance is the best one to catch. Sandi with a couple of young men banging wooden boxes with their bare hands.

    Spin - Sandi had me fooled there. Maybe she was thinking of "President" Blair.

    Surly - No. 1 for at least June.

  5. They've been playing this for years on R2, so much so that I actually thought it was an old song that had slipped past me and about which I knew nothing. That is until I read today's Independent and the exposé of the marketing methods behind it. Very clever.

  6. God, this is atrocious, sub-sixth form doggerel of the lamest kind, isn't it? (The song, I mean, not your analysis, Geoff, which made me laugh so much I think I've developed an hernia.)

    Trust everyone knows by now that the Sandi Thom backstory is just a cynical PR ploy.

  7. They said on TOTP that Prince Andrew wanted her to play for him. Betty said that was maybe because she reminds him of a young Fergie.

    Maybe he can show her his hand me downs?

  8. It's also insidously conservative with a small "c" if not a large one.

    What a lot of tosh.

  9. Sony/BMG will drop her as fast as they signed her. All this talk of million pound advances is way off beam.

    If she gets all four options picked up on her deal (which she won't; she won't even make a second album), her total advances will be a million.

  10. I'm an American, so pardon my subsequent commentary, but . . .

    what a silly bunt Sandi Thorn seems to be. Or else a relative of Malcolm MacLaren . . .

  11. As rose tinted as i like my glasses to be, the concept of living in a world without Blue Ice non-chewing gum, internet forwards incorperating donkeys and the 'red' button simply doesn't even bear thinking about.

    Hasn't she seen Life On Mars?

  12. Who is this person and why is she assaulting people with such drivel?
    Rarely have I read such utterly shite lyrics - agree with Jane's comment about the conservatism of it all. Your deconstruction was priceless, though, Geoff.

    I agree, too, with your previois post about silent comedy, etc. I just can't laugh along with other people.

  13. Hello everybody, and welcome.

    I couldn't get the song out of my head but now I've found a way. I just substitute the last line of the chorus with a line from an old George Jones song...

    "I wish I had real vitamins like L,O,V and E."

    That's better.

  14. Drivel, drivel, drivel...

    The song that is, not your post.

  15. I love this post so much. There, I've said it again.
    And the one below has caused lots of interesting conversation today. So, thankyou. It's great.

  16. This is the funniest post I've read since that one First Nations did about Judith and Holofernes, and that was ages ago. Thanks Geoff!

    I've not heard this song, and now I probably don't need to. Thanks again!

  17. I love this song!
    Actually during Punk's heyday the world didn't care either. But most of us were too stoned and drunk to mind!

  18. Gulp. I'm beginning to think that now would be a good time to retire from blogging.

    But I'll carry on doing what I do best - bore people senseless.

  19. t'd be more homest to wish for a time when the average house price in the Uk didn't exceed the average projected income but i guess that wouldn't scan...

    or maybe something about Funny Feet ice-cream.

  20. I thought Sandi was discovered in a stinking piss-hole of a rented flat so maybe that's the follow-up single.

    Or maybe a duet with Blunty.

  21. Anonymous3:59 AM

    Haven't you lot ever heard of poetic license? It's not as literal as you guys would make it sound so that you can get a cheap laugh. You're always going on at us younger people about "the good old days" and when one of us finally agrees with you you take the shit out of her. Maybe I really shouldn't trust anyone over thirty.

  22. I wouldn't trust anyone who bangs on about "the good old days".

  23. really? people over thirty going on about the good old days? and the war? and how this was all fields and you can't leave your back door unlocked any more and aren't policemen looking younger?

    fuck me. the mid-thirties generation are really, really sorry.

    oh, and if you "youngsters" don't want the piss taken, don't bleat about things that even i wasn't there for (let alone ms thom) but know not to be true. poetic licence granted and all that, it's still utter bollocks.

  24. Is it just me, or do I hear her singing "I wish I was a prawn cracker, with flowers in my hair?".

    Just me, then.

  25. It makes just as much sense.

  26. Oh I wish I was a prog rocker with flour in my hair
    In '73 and and '82, bad poetry was in the air
    I was born too late to be a stoner goth life is so unfair
    Oh I wish I was a prog rocker with flour in my hair

    When this was all fields
    And we made our own entertainment
    When I would have been a warrior poet genius
    That'd have been mint.

    When music wasn't rubbish, like it is now apart from mine that is
    When fluffy lambs bounced around gardens
    And everyone said "aww bless"
    Because they went to church

    Capitalism's BAD mmmkay? I am 5REAL
    Which is one real more than 4REAL
    And when Bela Lugosi Died In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
    Do you see what I did there? Do you, though?
    My Mum and Dad met in the nit nurse's office
    Back when the only way to stay in touch was to carve runes on stones

    That's her told.

  27. Much as I think the lyrics are shite on toast (wasn't the revolution in '68, and didn't punk rockers have either no hair or spikey hair and stamp on flowers, and wasn't hippy way before punk, man?), I think we should all remember this is a POP song and thus is generically obliged to make cack-all sense. Did people complain when the Beatles sang about Lucy in the sky with diamonds or Eleanor Rigby keeping her face in a jar by the door? It is annoyingly catchy, but that may be because we hear it everyday on t'radio and t'telly and have no choice but for it to be burned into our psyche.

    Has anyone else lost the ability to distinguish BETWEEN bands? To me, I can't tell the difference between the Kooks, Razorlight, Keane, Primal Scream, the Feeling, Orson, Lostprophets, und so weiter, especially since that Radio One Big Weekend in Dundee.

  28. Anonymous4:58 PM

    I love this song..jenne x

  29. Anonymous12:25 AM

    you know that i'm just like you people , making fun of everything that is idiotic and sensless , but maybe just maybe you are so wrong ....k the words don't make a lot of sence , she's truly lost when it comes to what is a hippy rocker or punker etc. but she has a point there.anyways just thaught that eventually someone will leave all the judgemental crap behind and read between the pooooorllllllllly done lyrics.heck i could never write a song and i'm betting that all of u are unable 2 do so 2 .

  30. that's an interesting opinion, critikal and fun. I was searching for its lyrics, yet accidentally entered this artikle, anyways, very kool place! xD

  31. Anonymous9:17 PM

    well actully i love tht song it dusent matta wat the words are its the tune people listen to leave sandi alone i bet u cudnt write a better song then tht actully im puttin it as my ringtone !!!!11

  32. Anonymous10:54 AM


  33. LOL, thanks for pinning us down. You've got us spot on - all us grim old bastards here at Geoff Towers are gathered round in a circle cackling and hissing as we throw another teenager on the fire. And what's that brewing in the cauldron? Eye of toad, ear of bat, liver of Sandi Thom!

    Mwuhah hah hah!

  34. mk-ultra1:35 AM

    This song is surpasses the
    Houghton Weavers' "When I Was A Lad"
    for dewy-eyed nostalgia. At least they
    were singing about an era they had experienced,
    even if it was rose-tinted reminiscing.
    Sandi (TM) Thom (C) PLC is just vapid, corporate
    drivel; so sickly I'm surprised the record doesn't
    get stuck to the turntable in some great big
    congealed syrupy mess every time it's played.

  35. Jazzie8:37 PM

    Despite what you all think - i love the song x bye!

  36. Anonymous4:02 AM

    O please, its just a song, if some dude with WAY too much time on his hands went out and critiqued every song on the planet, it would ruin the music industry in all its glory. Just listen to the song, if you like it, keep listening, if you dont, turn it off and back off

  37. Anonymous6:36 PM

    i like this song....

  38. Anonymous7:28 AM

    i find it interesting how everyone commenting in favor of this song is anomymous. i like the song, it has a catchy beat to it, but after reading this i couldnt help but laugh. good job.