1234 (Feist song)

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1234 sngle.jpg
Single by Feist
from the album The Reminder
Released September 5, 2007
Format CD single
Recorded 2007
Genre Indie pop
Length 3:03
Label Cherrytree/Interscope
Arts & Crafts
Songwriter(s) Sally Seltmann, Feist
Producer(s) Gonzales, Ben Mink, Feist
Feist singles chronology
"My Moon My Man"
"I Feel It All"
"My Moon My Man"
"I Feel It All"

"1234" is a song from Feist's third studio album, The Reminder. The song was co-written by Sally Seltmann, an Australian singer-songwriter who also recorded under the stage name New Buffalo, and Feist.[1] It remains Feist's biggest hit single in the USA to date, and her only song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Top 40.


In an interview with Songfacts, Sally Seltmann said:

I had been listening to Feist's album Let It Die. I thought my little song about lost love, and the hope to recapture what you once had, sounded too much like a Feist song for me to use for New Buffalo, so I shelved it. Then, in late 2005 I did a tour across Canada supporting Feist, and Broken Social Scene. After meeting Feist, I started to wonder whether she might like to do a cover of "1234," but I was too shy to tell her about it. At the last Broken Social Scene show, I plucked up the courage to tell her that I had written a song which I thought she might like to use. We went onto the tour bus, and I recorded a simple version of the song into her laptop, with guitar and vocals. To my surprise, she loved the song, and started playing it live.[2]

On 14 December 2005, Feist played the song live at The Trabendo in Paris, France in a show broadcast on Europe2 TV, with the title "Sally's Song" and with somewhat different lyrics than in the commercially released version.[3][4]

The original version of the song was mixed by Renaud Letang.[5] It was later remixed by Van She Tech, an offshoot of the band Van She.[citation needed]


"1234" was nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. Likewise, the success of the song largely contributed to Feist's other nominations that year for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album. It also won the Juno award for Single of the Year on 6 April 2008 in Calgary.

This song was #19 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007,[6] and #9 on the list of Readers' 25 Best Songs of 2007.[7] It was also ranked #5 on Amazon.com's Best Songs of 2007.[8] Pitchfork Media deemed the video the fifth best video of the decade,[9] and named the song #16 on top 100 tracks of 2007.[10] Blender named the video #2 on The Top 10 Music Videos of 2007.[11] In France the video won Music video of the year at the Victoires de la Musique.


The song was digitally released through iTunes Store. It gained notice after its use in an iPod nano commercial. It also appeared in an Australian commercial for eBay.[12] It has been released in the United Kingdom, in Canada and in other countries digitally.

Chart success

Since its digital release, "1234" peaked at #4 on the US Hot Digital Songs chart. The single also reached #8 on the US Hot 100, #10 on the US Pop 100, and #34 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart.[13] As of July 25, 2011, "1234" had sold 1.2 million downloads in the US.[14] The single's unexpected success led to its release worldwide. In the UK it proved to be a huge hit, making the top 10 and peaking at #8.[15] It had a very successful release in Canada, making it to number 2.[16] The song also entered the top 10 in several European countries. The single's success made Feist famous globally and boosted sales of her other releases. It also managed to debut at number 67 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, as digital tracks were counted towards chart positions from November 5, 2007 onwards in Australia. It later entered the top 50 of the chart in late December and peaked at #36.

It also ranked #34 in the Triple J Hottest 100, and #1 on Amazon.com's Top-selling Songs of 2007.[8]

Time magazine named "1234" one of The 10 Best Songs of 2007, ranking it at #2 after "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse. Writer Josh Tyrangiel called the song a “masterpiece”, praising Feist for singing it “with a mixture of wisdom and exuberance that's all her own."[17][18]

In the 28 April 2008 episode of The Colbert Report where she was a guest, Feist said that she had planned to offer "1234" as the official campaign theme for Stephen Colbert's Presidential bid, before he dropped out.[19]

As of 2017 it the single was certified silver by BPI for 200,000 sold copies. [20]

In popular culture


It was sung by the character of Andy Bernard in "Lecture Circuit", an episode of The Office, in an attempt to woo a client he finds attractive. This attempt fails, and Dunder Mifflin loses the account. It was used in a trailer for the 2009 film New York, I Love You. It also features in The Inbetweeners season 1 episode, 'Bunk Off'.


The song was rewritten as a counting song for the 39th season (2008) of Sesame Street, in which Feist counts chickens, monsters (Elmo, Rosita, Telly and Zoe) and penguins to 4.[21][22]

Brooke White of American Idol fame performed a cover of "1234" during her set on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008, which ran from 1 July to 13 September.

Electropop band Joy Electric released a cover of the song in 2009 on their album Favorites at Play.

Singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins covered the song for his 2009 album All Join In. The lyrics were changed because of "dark" subject material and the song also featured Kenny's 11-year-old daughter Hana.[23]

Pianist Louis Durra recorded an instrumental trio version released on Mad World EP and Arrogant Doormats (2011).


It was parodied by MADtv for the continuous releases of new iPods, a commercial in which the song was originally used.


Awards and nominations

Sally Seltmann received a nomination at the 2008 APRA Awards for Song of the Year.[43]


  1. ^ Everett-Green, Robert (2008-02-09). "Grammy girl: Feist". The Globe and Mail. pp. R1, R19. 
  2. ^ Songfacts for "1234". Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  3. ^ "feist - trabendo session - paris - 14th december 2005". 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Feist - 1234 - Letterman 08/27/2007". 
  5. ^ Paul Tingen (April 2008). "Secrets of the Mix Engineers: Renaud Letang". Sound on Sound magazine. 
  6. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2007". Archived from the original on 2005-01-07. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  7. ^ "Rock List: Readers' 25 Best Songs of 2007". Rolling Stone. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  8. ^ a b "Best Songs of 2007". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  9. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (2009-08-31). "Staff Lists: The Top 50 Music Videos of the 2000s | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  10. ^ "Staff Lists: Top 100 Tracks of 2007". Pitchfork Media. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  11. ^ "The Top 10 Music Videos of 2007". Blender. 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  12. ^ "eBay Make Shopping Exciting with Feist in Whistler » The Inspiration Room | Daily". The Inspiration Room. 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  13. ^ Billboard chart history
  14. ^ "Billboard Bits: Feist's New Album, Haley Reinhart Inks Label Deal". Billboard.com. 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  15. ^ "The Charts". Music.unrealitytv.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  16. ^ Billboard.com
  17. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh; "The Best Top 10 Lists of the Year"; "The 10 Best Songs"; Time magazine; 24 December 2007; Page 39.
  18. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh (2007-12-09). "''Time'' magazine's Top 10 Songs of 2007 at". Time.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  19. ^ "Feist | The Colbert Report". Comedy Central. 2008-04-28. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  20. ^ https://www.bpi.co.uk/bpi-awards/
  21. ^ Agrell, Siri (2008-07-16). "Will Feist's famous number be a monster hit with children?". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. A1. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  22. ^ "Sesame Street: Feist sings 1,2,3,4". 
  23. ^ http://www.spinner.com
  24. ^ "Feist – 1234". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  25. ^ "ARIA Report: Issue 928" (PDF). ARIA. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  26. ^ "Feist – 1234". ultratop.be (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Feist – Chart History: Billboard Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Feist Chart History (Canada CHR/Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  30. ^ "Feist Chart History (Canada Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  31. ^ "Feist – 1234" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2007". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  33. ^ "Feist – 1234". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Feist". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 29, 2007. 
  35. ^ "SNS IFPI". Hitparáda – Radio Top100 Oficiálna (in Slovak). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Feist – 1234". hitparade.ch (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Feist". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Feist – Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Feist – Chart History: Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Feist – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Feist – Chart History: Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Feist – Chart History: Canadian Hot 100 (Year end)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  43. ^ 2008 Apra Nominees Announced Archived December 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

Preceded by
"Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
Juno Award for Single of the Year
Succeeded by
"Dangerous" by Kardinal Offishall
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