If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Friday, December 21, 2007

What a Wonderful World


A beautiful song from the voice of Louis Armstrong, the great Satchmo. 
OST: Good Morning Vietnam.

This was written by Bob Thiele and George Weiss. Thiele was a producer for ABC records, and Weiss was a songwriter who helped create the hit version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." The song is about appreciating the beauty of our surroundings.

Armstrong recorded this for scale, accepting only $250 to make sure the orchestra got paid.

This is the song most associated with Louis Armstrong, but it does not represent the body of his work, which consists mostly of Jazz.

In 1988, this was re-released in the US after it was used in the Robin Williams movie Good Morning, Vietnam. It charted at #32.

The boss of ABC Records hated this and did not promote it until it became a hit in England.

The 66-year-old Armstrong became the oldest act to top the UK charts when this reached #1. Four years previously Satchmo had become the oldest artist to record a US #1 when "Hello, Dolly!" hit the top spot. Armstrong's record was broken in 2009 when the 68-years-and 9 months-old Tom Jones was one of the artists on the Comic Relief cover of "Islands in the Stream."

This song's slow tempo seems to emphasize the idea that in order to recognize all the good that is around us, we have to slow down & notice it. As Satchmo sings each verse, the listener has time to visualize each line, and can stop and think, oh, yeah, it IS a wonderful world. 

The voice and perspective of this 66-year-old black man gives the song the depth to touch our souls. If someone like Armstrong can bring such believability to these words after growing up in the world he did (in the most turbulent years of the 60's...1968. Race Riots, two prominent men who stood for civil rights assassinated, Vietnam protests raging, the civil rights movement marching on, and here is a black man from the Deep South singing such a poignant, simple, beautiful song. It's like the daisy being inserted into the gun barrel), then there truly must be value in acknowledging the beauty around us.

As you see all the bad news out there on TV, as you hear of all the war and strife and crime and unrest on the news....how cleansing and refreshing it is to hear this song, to put your mind back into proper perspective....It takes your mind back to a safe, warm place, a place where everyone gets along, where there is peace.

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