Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What a Wonderful World (Sometimes)

The most lovely song for singing your itty bitties to sleep could arguably be "What A Wonderful World." It's a purty tune with a lovely sentiment and it's been covered from here to the moon and back. Yesterday I posted on Victoria Williams (and I heard from no one thankyouverymuch) and she covered this tune on the very same CD I nabbed those two songs from. But I'm not posting it here. Instead, I've chosen another six versions, each wildly different. For just listening pleasure, I'll take the Shane and Nick or the Flaming Lips version but for soothing babies? The Innocence Mission wins hands down. Although there is no arguing with Louis.

Louis Armstrong, "What a Wonderful World"
Dan Zanes & Lou Reed, "What a Wonderful World"
Shane MacGowan & Nick Cave, "What a Wonderful World"
Ruth Brown, "What a Wonderful World"
The Flaming Lips, "What a Wonderful World"
The Innocence Mission, "What a Wonderful World"

Other people who have covered WAWW: Willie Nelson, K.D. Lang, Joey Ramone, BB King, Etta James, Glen Campbell, Gloria Gaynor & more.


deb in sf said...

you've done it again! This is the song we sing our littles to sleep with. Every night. We ask if they'd like a song and they say "yes, Won'rful Wrld". So sweet and hopeful. We started singing it to our (now almost 6 y/o) son right after 9/11 to keep the beauty and hope in our hearts for him when we were feeling so dismal.

And funny, it's really the ONLY song I can think of that we only sing to them and they don't sing at all. I think it's really just a comfort thing for them. So many ways music works in our lives.

Deb in SF

deb in sf said...

ps - do you know the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version? Another sweet one in a medly with Somwhere Over the Rainbow (sadly, commercialed) on his "Facing Future" album.

superclea said...

Hey Deb!

I do know the Israel K. track and in fact, we featured it on the "Guest List" post that Heather did. Check it out:

Thanks for commenting... you know I LOVE it. Oh and by the way, which is your favorite Wonderful World track??

oddharmonic said...

My five-year-old daughter really likes the Art Garfunkel and James Taylor version (on the 1998 album Best of Art Garfunkel), but my favorite version is probably a cappella -- a track of it we have performed by the Sweet Briar Sweet Tones calms her crying almost effortlessly.

oddharmonic said...

Ack, ignore that brain fart -- my first comment was referring to covers of the song "(What A) Wonderful World" that's often dsecribed by its opening line, "Don't know much about history".

My favorite covers of the song your post is about are by Harry Connick, Jr. and Lionel Hampton. I'm afeared of the Kenny G cover.

Shauna said...

This is one of my favorites to sing to my girl, mostly inspired by the Innocence Mission version. Yay.

boyhowdy said...

My girls are more the Joey Ramone type -- during the day, at least. I should expect nothing less from a three-year-old whose favorite song at one was Andrew WK's "She Is Beautiful."

But at night, when I sing it, I have Armstrong in my head...

superclea said...

Hah, my (4 year old) nephew loves Andrew WK. Loves. Andrew. W. K. Thanks for posting.

Mom101 said...

Thanks for reminding me of this one. You know, with all the tunes taking up valuable brain cells in my head, all I can ever think of is Twinkle Twinkle and the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Woodland Bear said...

Definitely worth tracking down is Keane's loving cover of 'What A Wonderful World' which they recorded for Children in Need last year. You may be able to find it in the Media section of