Wednesday, 31 October 2007

What a wonderful world

I always listen to the radio when I am by myself in the car and often sing along as I know no one can hear me! Today, while I was driving to Brighton they played 'What a wonderful world' by Louis Armstrong. The song always cheers me up, not least because it was one of my father's favourite songs. He always liked songs with 'a good tune' and also liked Louis Armstrong, who he remembered as 'old Satchmo'. I specifically remember him saying how much he liked it, especially the words, which I think summed up how he felt about life at the time. I was still at primary school (in fact I have just looked it up and it was released in 1968 so I would have been 10 years old) and my father would have been around 60 years old. Louis Armstrong would have been about 67 so I suppose my father grew up with his music. I very much remember getting the sense that for both of them the song was a celebration of life and all that is positive about it. I also remember that at the time they played it in our school assembly and we were told that although it was a popular song it was also like a hymn.

Over the last few years particularly I have been quite surprised at my ability to see a 'half full glass' rather than one that is half empty and I think I have been very blessed to have a largely positive view of life. When I heard the song today it reminded me of where some of that positivism might have come from.

I looked up the words. They are really quite simple and brief and the whole recording is only 2 minutes 19 seconds. It was one of the last last things Louis Armstrong recorded as he died suddenly in 1971 of a heart attack. My father died in a similar fashion 14 years later.

Lyrics to WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD written by George Weiss and Bob Thiele and recorded by Louis Armstrong.

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Oh yeah

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