Pocketful of Sunshine

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"Pocketful of Sunshine"
Single by Natasha Bedingfield
from the album Pocketful of Sunshine and Strip Me Away
Released 15 January 2008 (2008-01-15)
Recorded 2006
Genre Pop
Length 3:23
Label Epic
Producer(s) John Shanks
Natasha Bedingfield singles chronology
"Love Like This"
"Pocketful of Sunshine"
"Bruised Water"
Music video
"Pocketful of Sunshine" on YouTube

"Pocketful of Sunshine" is a song recorded by English singer–songwriter Natasha Bedingfield. It was released on 15 January 2008 as the second single from her second North American studio album of the same title (2008). Bedingfield co-wrote the song together with American songwriter Danielle Brisebois and American musician and songwriter John Shanks; Shanks also produced the track as well as performing on most of the instruments present. Epic Records serviced the song to contemporary hit radios in the United States on 11 February 2008. It wasn't released in Europe until April 2011, when it was released as the lead single from her third European studio album Strip Me Away (2011).

Bedingfield noted "Pocketful of Sunshine" as her favourite, stating that it centers on escaping from one's troubles. It adapts dance-pop and adult contemporary styles, differing from her previous recordings. Lyrically, the song discusses escapism and finding a peaceful place in difficult situations. The message is amplified by the melancholic tone of the lyrics mixing with the exuberance displayed in Bedingfield's voice. "Pocketful of Sunshine" was well received by contemporary music critics; the majority of them named it as one of the album's highlights. Several critics also praised it as a bright and lively summer tune.

"Pocketful of Sunshine" experienced commercial success in North America. In the United States, it peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), selling three million downloads and becoming her most successful single there. In Canada, it peaked at number three on Canadian Hot 100 and was certified platinum by Music Canada. It, however, did not replicate the success internationally as it charted moderately in several countries.

The music video for "Pocketful of Sunshine" premiered on April 15, 2008, and features Bedingfield escaping from a stressful situation and dancing on a roof with other background dancers, also portraying scenes of other people escaping their troubles, coming to Bedingfield for comfort. The single has been used widely in the media, being featured in movies and television series such as Easy A, Degrassi: The Next Generation and The Ugly Truth.


"Pocketful of Sunshine" was written and produced by John Shanks, while additional writing was provided by Bedingfield and Danielle Brisebois. The aforementioned songwriters were also involved in performing the background vocals present on the track. Shanks, a musician as well as a writer and producer, performed several instruments that make up the song, which include the guitar, bass and keyboards. The latter instrument was also played by Charlie Judge while Wendy Melvain performed on guitar. Jeff Rothschild was the engineer behind the recording process of "Pocketful of Sunshine", which took place at Starstruck Studios in Nashville, Tennessee and Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. He received assistance from engineers Aaron Kasdorf and Jared Robbins in recording the song. Rothschild was involved in programming the song as well as playing the drums. It was then edited through the use of ProTools technology by Lars Fox and mixed by Manny Marroquin at Larrabee Studios in Los Angeles, California. In an interview with OK! Magazine, Bedingfield the song as one of her favourites on the album, stating "Its about going to a familiar place when you're in that situation that you want to escape from finding a peaceful place within."[1]

"Pocketful of Sunshine" is the second single taken from Pocketful of Sunshine (2008), a repackaged version of N.B. released in North American territories. Epic Records serviced the song to contemporary hit radios on 11 February 2008.[2] On 29 July 2008, an extended play of "Pocketful of Sunshine" was released via iTunes in North American territories.[3] The EP features remixes by StoneBridge and American disc jockey Johnny Vicious. Following the release of Strip Me in international territories in spring 2011, the song was selected to be released as the international single. "Pocketful of Sunshine" was released for digital download on 15 April 2011 in Germany and 22 April 2011 in France.[4][5]


"Pocketful of Sunshine" is a pop song that incorporates styles of dance-pop and runs for three minutes and twenty three seconds.[6] The song is built on an electro beat.[7] According to the digital music sheet published at Musicnotes.com by EMI Music Publishing, it is written in a key of A minor.[6] The song is set in common time and to a moderate groove with a tempo of 110 beats per minute.[6] Bedingfield's vocals range from A3 to D5. The song follows a chord progression of Am-Gsus2-F-Dm in some parts and Am-C-G-F in other parts.[6] Lyrically, "Pocketful of Sunshine" is written about finding refuge and escape in love and the small triumphs of life.[8] The message is amplified by the contrast between the melancholic tone of the lyrics and the exuberance of Bedingfield's vocals.[8]

Critical reception

"Pocketful of Sunshine" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Matthew Chisling of AllMusic named it one of the album's highlights, commenting that it was "eared perfectly toward the mainstream American market."[9] About.com writer Bill Lamb, in his review of the derivative album, also named it one of the album's top tracks and in his review of the single itself, praised Bedingfield's style of singing and the contrast between the melancholy tone and the lyrics aimed towards love and escape.[8][10] Mike Schiller, a writer for PopMatters, praised it as being "so utterly effervescent that it could re-carbonate a seven-days-open can of soda."[11] Julie Farmer of Blogcritics praised it as one of the album's standout tracks.[7] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine labelled it as one of the strongest tracks on the album, writing that it is evocative of Canadian singer Nelly Furtado's third studio album Loose (2006).[12] Digital Spy writer Alex Fletcher praised the recording for its sound but criticised its lack of originality, writing that "it sounds as American as 'The Star-Spangled Banner' being belted out by a redneck Texan."[13] Andrew Greenhalgh of Patrol Magazine wrote it as a summertime favourite, commenting "It’s one of those songs that cries out for a convertible with the top down and a long drive to the beach."[14]

Commercial performance

"Pocketful of Sunshine" earned Bedingfield her second top five single in North America. It became her highest charting single in Canada and tied with "Unwritten" as her highest charting effort in the United States.

"Pocketful of Sunshine" experienced its highest success in North America. In the United States, the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number sixty-five on the week ending 9 February 2008 as well as debuting on the Digital Songs at number twenty-four.[15] It fell out after its second week and re-entered the chart at number ninety-four on the week ending 15 March 2008.[16][17] It continued to ascend the chart until the week ending 5 July 2008, when "Pocketful of Sunshine" reached its peak position at number five.[18] It also peaked at number four on the Hot Digital Songs and Mainstream Top 40, as well as peaking at number ten on the Hot 100 Airplay (Radio Songs).[18] The single also became her second single to top the Dance Club Songs.[18] "Pocketful of Sunshine" has become Bedingfield's most successful single in the United States, selling over three million downloads and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) almost a year after its release.[19] The song fared similarly in Canada, where it debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number forty-three, fell to ninety-three the following week and exited the chart the week after.[20][21] It reappeared on the Canadian Hot 100 a month later and ultimately peaked at number three on the week ending 17 May 2008.[18][22] The single spent a total of thirty-eight weeks on the chart, selling over 40,000 downloads, and earning a platinum certification by Music Canada on 19 November 2008.[18][23]

Following the release of Strip Me Away (2011) in Europe, "Pocketful of Sunshine", included in the album's track listing, was selected to be the international single. More than a month after its release, the song began charting in Germany, debuting at number thirty-four. It steadily ascended the chart, reaching its peak position at number twenty-four over a month later.[24] The single also charted in Austria within the same time period, debuting at number sixty-eight and peaking at number twenty-eight, where it remained for two consecutive weeks.[25] The song experienced less commercial success in Switzerland as it charted within the lower positions of the Swiss Singles Chart for most of its run. It eventually peaked at number forty-three and quickly exited the chart weeks later.[26]

Music video

A shot from the video, where Bedingfield "escapes" from her workplace

The music video for "Pocketful of Sunshine" was directed by Alan Ferguson, who has directed music videos for Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes and Katy Perry.[27] It was released on 15 April 2008 to MTV.[27] The video opens with Bedingfield at a work building; scenes of a child drawing a picture while his parents are fighting and a teenager drawing graffiti in a parking lot are intercut through the video. After she drops off her work, Bedingfield grabs a parachute and jumps out the window. She lands on a rooftop with a change of attire and more people following suit. While Bedingfield sings, the crowd dances. Meanwhile, a teenager is spray painting on a wall until the police arrive to arrest him. The video also cuts into scenes of Bedingfield in a red dress spinning around against the wind. In an attempt to escape, the teenager punches through the wall, entering the rooftop with Bedingfield and the backup dancers.

Bedingfield is then sitting in a chair and when an eclipse occurs, hence the line "in the darkness there's light." As the eclipse begins to pass, Bedingfield red butterflies are released from her hands while she sings the line "there's only butterflies." Bedingfield performs for the crowd of dancers and is seen dancing with teenager shown earlier in the video. Back at the work building, the employees watch Bedingfield's performance via the LG Voyager cell phone. The video at this point features the child still drawing his picture and covering his ears, blocking out the sound of his parents arguing. The child walks out of the house he drew, when the camera shows Bedingfield meditating on a large lotus flower, while a group of belly dancers dance around her. As the child walks up to her, Bedingfield opens her eyes. The end of the video shows the lotus flower rising up, while Bedingfield sings the final lines, then looking at the child. Future Dance Central choreographer Nick Demoura appears in the video. Despite the fact Bedingfield herself licenses a lot of her songs to video games this song has yet to appear in a Dance Central.

Usage in media

"Pocketful of Sunshine" was recorded in Simlish for the video game The Sims 2: FreeTime; a music video was also made using the game and portraying Bedingfield as a sim.[28] It was featured on the mid-season finale of the MTV reality television series The Hills, whose theme song is Bedingfield's "Unwritten". Bedingfield performed the song on the season finale of the Canadian television series Degrassi: The Next Generation.[29] The song is also in the soundtrack of the film The Ugly Truth (2009). In the fall of 2008, "Pocketful of Sunshine" was used in the promotional campaign for the syndicated launch of the television series Lost. "Pocketful of Sunshine" was also used in the background of several of ABC's "Start Fresh" commercials such as those for Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. The song is also featured on Audition Online.

In the United States, the escape-themed song's chorus portion was used in a 2008 television commercial to promote Pechanga Resort and Casino in California.[30] This makes "Pocketful of Sunshine" Bedingfield's second single to be used in a television ad campaign. The chorus was also heard in promotional spots for the television series In Plain Sight, which airs on the USA Network. It was included in the soundtrack album Music from Degrassi: The Next Generation (2008). The song and music video were featured in the video game Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3. It was also featured in the end credits of the film Igor (2008). "Pocketful of Sunshine" was featured prominently in the film Easy A (2010): after receiving a greeting card from her grandmother that plays the song, the main character Olive Penderghast (portrayed by Emma Stone), declares it to be "the worst song ever" before becoming addicted to it, going so far as to use it as her ringtone. The animated series Planet Warriors has the song as Sun's transformation song.

Track listing

US digital single

  1. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (radio edit) – 3:02

Promotional CD

  1. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (radio edit) – 3:02
  2. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (album version) – 3:22
  3. "Love like This" (Jim Jonsin Remix) – 4:14

Club promo mixes CD

  1. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (Johnny Vicious Club)
  2. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (StoneBridge Club)
  3. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (Johnny Vicious Radio)
  4. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (StoneBridge Radio)
  5. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (Johnny Vicious Warehouse Mix)
  6. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (Johnny Vicious Dub)
  7. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (StoneBridge Dub)
  8. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (radio edit)

German CD single

  1. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (album version) – 3:22
  2. "Pocketful of Sunshine" (Johnny Vicious Club Remix) - 10:12

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Pocketful of Sunshine.[31]

Recording and mixing


  • Vocals, background vocals – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Songwriting – Natasha Bedingfield, Danielle Brisebois, John Shanks
  • Production and bass – John Shanks
  • Keyboards – John Shanks, Charlie Judge
  • Guitars – John Shanks, Wendy Melvoin
  • Drums and programming – Jeff Rothschild
  • Recording – Jeff Rothschild, Aaron Kasdorf (assistant), Jared Robbins (assistant)
  • Mixing – Manny Marroquin
  • ProTools – Lars Fox



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[47] Platinum 40,000^
United States (RIAA)[48] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[48] Gold 500,000^

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

Release history

List of release dates, showing region, format, record label and reference.
Region Date Format Label Ref.
Kenya 15 January 2008 Digital download Sony BMG Music [49]
United States 11 February 2008 Contemporary hit radio Epic [2]
Canada 29 July 2008 Remixes EP Sony BMG Music [50]
United States Epic [3]
Germany 15 April 2011 Digital download Sony Music [4]
France 22 April 2011 [5]


  1. ^ Staff (3 April 2008). "OK! Interview: Natasha Bedingfield". OK! Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Airplay Archive". FMQB. Archived from the original on 10 December 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Pocketful of Sunshine (Remixes)". iTunes. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Pocketful of Sunshine – Single by Natasha Bedingfield". Amazon.com (in German). Germany. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Pocketful of Sunshine – Single by Natasha Bedingfield". Amazon.com (in French). France. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d "Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  7. ^ a b Farmer, Julie. "Music Review: Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful Of Sunshine". Blogcritics. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Lamb, Bill. "Natasha Bedingfield - "Pocketful of Sunshine"". About.com. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  9. ^ Chisling, Matthew. "Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  10. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine". About.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  11. ^ Schiller, Mike. "Natasha Bedingfield: Pocketful of Sunshine". PopMatters. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  12. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (22 January 2008). "Natasha Bedingfield: Pocketful of Sunshine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  13. ^ Fletcher, Alex (29 June 2008). "Natasha Bedingfield: 'Pocketful of Sunshine' - Music Singles Review". Digital Spy. United Kingdom. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  14. ^ Greenhalgh, Andrew (5 February 2008). "Natasha Bedingfield, "Pocketful of Sunshine"". Patrol Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  15. ^ "Hot 100 - February 9, 2008 - Biggest Jump". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  16. ^ "Hot 100 - February 16, 2008 - Biggest Jump". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  17. ^ "Hot 100 - March 15, 2008 - Biggest Jump". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Pocketful of Sunshine - Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  19. ^ Grein, Paul (15 June 2009). "Week Ending June 12, 2011. Songs: The Odd Couples". Chart Watch. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - February 9, 2008 - Biggest Jump". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  21. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - February 16, 2008 - Biggest Fall". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  22. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - March 15, 2008 - Biggest Jump". Billboard. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  23. ^ "Gold & Platinum Database". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  24. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine @ Top40-Charts.com". Top40-Charts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  25. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful Of Sunshine - austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  26. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful Of Sunshine - swisscharts.com". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  27. ^ a b "Pocketful of Sunshine | Natasha Bedingfield". MTV. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  28. ^ "VideoBlog: Singing In Simlish". YouTube. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  29. ^ Warner, Tyrone. "Natasha Bedingfield talks 'Degrassi'". CTV. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  30. ^ "YouTube". youtube.com.
  31. ^ Pocketful of Sunshine (inlay cover). Natasha Bedingfield. Epic Records, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK). 2008.
  32. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  34. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200835 into search. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  36. ^ "Musicline.de – Natasha Bedingfield Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  37. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  38. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine". Swiss Singles Chart.
  39. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  40. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  42. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  43. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Dance Mix/Show Airplay)". Billboard.
  44. ^ "Natasha Bedingfield Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  45. ^ Johnny Loftus. "Natasha Bedingfield - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  46. ^ "Hot 100 Songs 11 through 20 - Billboard Year In Music 2008". Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
  47. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine". Music Canada.
  48. ^ a b "American single certifications – Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  49. ^ "Pocketful of Sunshine – Single by Natasha Bedingfield on Apple Music". iTunes Store (KE). Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  50. ^ "Pocketful of Sunshine (Remixes) – Natasha Bedingfield". iTunes (CA). Retrieved 28 April 2012.

External links

  • Official website
  • Official US website
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