DiscoverSwitched on Pop“Flowers” and the art of the response song
“Flowers” and the art of the response song

“Flowers” and the art of the response song

Update: 2023-02-141


“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus is spending another week on top of the Billboard 100 – quite fitting for Valentine’s Day.

The disco-country track has gotten people talking for a few reasons, but most notably, Cyrus invokes Bruno Mars’ classic “When I Was Your Man” in both lyrical and melodic allusions. The connection between the two songs is not one of interpolation, but rather, Miley is responding to Bruno’s hit through her own words: making “Flowers” an answer song. 

This episode of Switched On Pop, we take a deeper look at “Flowers” and how it fits in the canon of response songs throughout history, from classics like “This Land is Your Land” to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.” 

Songs Discussed: 

  • Miley Cyrus – Flowers

  • Kacey Musgraves – High Horse

  • Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive

  • Dua Lipa – New Rules

  • Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man

  • Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

  • TLC – No Scrubs

  • Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg – California Girls

  • JAY-Z, Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind

  • Big Mama Thornton – Hound Dog

  • Rufus Thomas – Bear Cat

  • Hank Thompson – The Wild Side of Life

  • Kitty Wells – It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

  • Ray Charles – Hit the Road, Jack

  • Nina Simone – Come on Back Jack

  • The Chantels – Well, I Told You

  • UTFO – Roxanne, Roxanne

  • Roxanne Shanté – Roxanne’s Revenge

  • UTFO – The Real Roxanne

  • New Edition – Candy Girl

  • The Jackson 5 – ABC

  • Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back

  • Nicki Minaj – Anaconda

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“Flowers” and the art of the response song

“Flowers” and the art of the response song