Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2003

White Flag by Dido

This is the archived version of


Dido takes her arty lyrics with attitude to a new commercial level with this determined to get over it love song.

Song: White Flag
Artist: Dido
Album: Life For Rent
Songwriter: Dido Armstrong, Rollo Armstrong, Rick Nowells
Producer: DIdo Armstrong, Rollo Armstrong

A song about martyrdom in surviving a disappointing love affair. The singer won't give up even though she's tempted to.

Dido's poetic message of her longing for what did not materialize and determination to get over it reads like a movie or novel. I know you think that I shouldn't still love you, Or tell you that. But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it where's the sense in that? I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder Or return to where we were I will go down with this ship And I won't put my hands up and surrender There will be no white flag above my door I'm in love and always will be I know I left too much mess and destruction to come back again And I caused nothing but trouble I understand if you can't talk to me again And if you live by the rules of "it's over" then I'm sure that that makes sense

The track is based on 8th notes with an underlying 16th shuffle feel. Dido phrases jn both 8th and shuffle rhythms.

A strong memorable melody with great architecture and curt phrasing in a major scale that echoes both one's longing and a resolve to put it in the past.

A classic Dido palette of diatonic chords alternating between bright major and relative minor scale dark triadic harmonies. i v bVII iv v // bVI bIII iv i



The moodiness of the song is well flanked by 's excellent subtle omnipresent groove and production.

This British popstress shows her reflective ironic style expressing itself at its peak in this recording.

Predicted Longevity
This recording was Dido's biggest hit and one of the standouts of the year. It should remain a classic for some time.

Album Cover: Life For Rent

See More Anatomy of a Hits
This is a temporary archived version of with content from 2017. It will be replaced by a new website shortly (Fall 2022).
© 2000-2022 Cat Cohen Unlimited