Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
From 1967 to 2018, Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” has not lost even a bit of its momentum. The song was written by Bob Thiele and George Weiss during the ‘Vietnam War‘ with the hopes of mending some shattered lives due to the war. Since then, “What A Wonderful World” has healed and inspired possibly billions of lives to-date.
This track appears in Louis Armstrong’s 1968 album also titled ‘What A Wonderful World.’ The single was a massive success with over a half a million sales in the year of release and reached #1 spot on UK Singles Chart and #1 in Australia as well. Initially, the song was not much appealed to the US fans, selling less than 1,000 copies. Yahoo Music confirms that the song has been downloaded over 2 million times since the original track was released digitally.
Louis’ performance of the song was inducted into the ‘Grammy Hall of Fame’ in 1999.
“What A Wonderful World” Appearances in Pop Culture
The song made into several mainstream productions including BBC Radio’s ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ series. Further, it was used on ‘Good Morning, Vietnam‘ movie starring Robin Williams.
In 1995, the song was used in end credits of the movie ’12 Monkeys.’
Watch Louis Armstrong Perform “What A Wonderful World”
Armstrong was 66 years old when he recorded “What A Wonderful World” and he was 67 when the single reached the top of UK Singles Chart. This made him the oldest to reach number one spot on the chart at the time.
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “What A Wonderful World”
As was the intention of this Jazz track, this is a ‘feel-good’ song. It is impossible to not have a positive outlook on the world while listening to this song. It served its purpose back during the war, and it serves its purpose even today.
This song is released at a time where the US and UK had a very condemning opinion of the African Americans. Louis Armstrong, with his successful musical career, had been able to turn this around for himself. Hence, this positivity is also reflected in the song.
Verse 1 and 2
Louis goes into a frenzy of appreciating the little things around him. He sees the green trees, red roses, blue skies, bright days and solemn nights. Despite the destruction and distraught brought by the ongoing war, Louis tries to emphasize the little good remaining in the world.
His opinion of ‘good in the world’ also comes from him being accepted into the White’s society as a member of the African-American community.
Despite all the negativity surrounding him, he chooses to see the positives. And the audience, even momentarily, feels as if everything is okay in this world. That there still is hope left.
Louis Armstrong appreciates the colors of the rainbow in nature. But he sees these colors on the faces of the people as well. This could mean either he thinks some people are so positive about life that they appear quite vibrant like the colors of the rainbow. Or, it could also mean that there are different colored people around him, a little ado to the different races living in harmony in the world.
Louis Armstrong chooses to see the good in people around him in “What A Wonderful World.” He sees people interacting with each other and views them as acts of love. Because if they weren’t in love, they would not be interacting each other.
Watch Celine Dion Cover “What A Wonderful World” Live
The third verse of “What A Wonderful World” gives so much hope for mothers-possibly aimed at widows created as a result of the ongoing war back then.
Armstrong sings that he sees bright futures for the young babies. They will have so much more knowledge and access to facilities than he ever did. We are certain that these lines fed a lot of hopes to a lot of young mothers back then and even now.
It is impossible not to feel good listening to this track sung by that powerful and soothing voice of Louis Armstrong. We absolutely adore this song and the positive message it spreads.
Let us know what you think about “What A Wonderful World” song and the lyrics. If you have a different opinion of the meaning, do leave a comment below. If you loved this article and annotation, share this with your friends as well.
Full Lyrics to “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong