Music: Louis Armstrong - When It's Sleepie Time Down South (1959) - What Wonderful World - Lyrics - Data of both songs

Posted by Ricardo Marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 9:01

When It's Sleepie Time Down South, Armstrong Louis, 1959

Pale moon shinin' on the fields below oaks are croonin' so soft and low
No need tellin' cause I know it's sleepy time down south
Soft wind blowin' to them pineywood trees folks down there they live a life of these
When my mama falls on her knees it's sleepy time down south
Stam boats on the river keep a comin' and a goin' splashin' the night away
Hear the banjos ringin' folks keep a singin' they dance till break of day
Dear old south land with your dreamy song take me back there that's where I belong
Oh I'd love to be in my sweet mama's arms
When it's sleepy time sleepy time down south

"When It's Sleepy Time Down South", also known as "Sleepy Time Down South", is a 1931 jazz song written by Clarence Muse, Leon René and Otis René. It was sung in the movie Safe in Hell by Nina Mae McKinney, and became the theme song of Louis Armstrong, who recorded it almost a hundred times during his career.[1] The song is now considered a jazz standard. Al Hirt released a version on his 1963 album, Our Man in New Orleans.[2]

The lyrics concern the Great Migration in the United States, the movement of African-Americans from the South to cities in the North, with the singer talking about the "dear old Southland... where I belong",[1] and contain many racial stereotypes.[3] Armstrong's popularity among African American audiences dropped because of the song, but at the same time it helped the trumpeter to make his fan base broader.[4] There is a 1942 film short of the song where Armstrong and others played slaves and farm workers.[1]

Louis Armstrong - What Wonderful World

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 colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

"What a Wonderful World" is a song written by Bob Thiele (as "George Douglas") and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1967. Thiele and Weiss were both prominent in the music world (Thiele as a producer and Weiss as a composer/performer).[1] Armstrong's recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The publishing for this song is controlled by Memory Lane Music Group, Carlin Music Corp., and Bug Music, Inc.


Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate of everyday life in the United States, the song also has a hopeful, optimistic tone with regard to the future, with reference to babies being born into the world and having much to look forward to. The song was initially offered to Tony Bennett, who turned it down.[2] Thereafter, it was offered to Louis Armstrong. George Weiss recounts in the book Off the Record: Songwriters on Songwriting by Graham Nash that he wrote the lyrics specifically for Louis Armstrong. George was inspired by Louis’ ability to bring people of different colors together. The song was not initially a hit in the United States, where it sold fewer than 1,000 copies because the ABC Records head Larry Newton did not like the song and so did not promote it, but was a major success in the United Kingdom, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, the song hit #116 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Chart. It was also the biggest-selling single of 1968 in the UK where it was among the last pop singles issued by HMV Records before becoming an exclusive classical music label.[3] The song made Louis Armstrong the oldest male to top the chart, at sixty-six years and ten months old. Armstrong's record was broken in 2009 when a cover version of "Islands in the Stream" recorded for Comic Relief – which included 68-year-old Tom Jones – reached number one.

ABC Records' European distributor EMI forced ABC to issue a What A Wonderful World album in 1968 (catalogue number ABCS-650) which did not chart in the US due to ABC's non-promotion of it,[4] but did chart in the UK where it was issued by Stateside Records with catalogue number SSL 10247 and peaked on the British chart at #37.

The song gradually became something of a standard and reached a new level of popularity. In 1978, Armstrong's 1967 recording was featured in the closing scenes of the first series of BBC radio's cult hit, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and was repeated for BBC's 1981 TV series of the same. In 1988, Armstrong's recording was featured in the film Good Morning, Vietnam and was re-released as a single, hitting #32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. The single charted at number one for the fortnight ending June 27, 1988 on the Australian chart.

In 2001, rappers Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and The Alchemist released "The Forest," a song which begins with three lines of lyric adapted from "What a Wonderful World", altered to become "an invitation to get high" on marijuana.[5] The rappers and their record company, Sony Music Entertainment, were sued by the owners of "What a Wonderful World," Abilene Music. The suit was thrown out of court after judge Gerard E. Lynch determined that the altered lyric was indisputably a parody, transforming the uplifting original message to a new one with a darker nature.[5][6]

"What a Wonderful World" es una canción jazz escrita por Bob Thiele y George David Weiss, estrenada por Louis Armstrong y editada por primera vez como single a principios del otoño de 1967. Con la idea de ser un antídoto al clima político y racial de la década de 1960, fue escrita especialmente para Louis Armstrong, que le imprimió especial atractivo.

La canción describe la delicia del cantante por las cosas simples de cada día, y mantiene un tono optimista con esperanza en el futuro, incluyendo una referencia a los bebés que nacen en el mundo y tendrán mucho para ver y crecer. No fue inicialmente un éxito en los Estados Unidos, donde vendió menos de 1000 copias, pero sí logró mayor recepción en el Reino Unido, hasta alcanzar el primer puesto de ventas en 1968.

La difusión mundial de la canción tuvo lugar a partir de su inclusión en 1987 en la banda de sonido de la película "Good Morning, Vietnam", dirigida por Barry Levinson y protagonizada -entre otros- por Robin Williams. Fue la banda sonora del inicio de las primeras temporadas de la serie norteamericana Cosas de casa.

Music: Louis Armstrong - When It's Sleepie Time Down South (1959) - What Wonderful World - Lyrics - Data of both songs

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