(above) Paulette Goddard in a still from the department store skating sequence of the Chaplin film Modern Times (1936)

Smile (m. Charles Chaplin, w. John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons)

From Wikipedia:

Smile is a song based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, while John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954.[1] In the lyrics, the singer is telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a bright tomorrow, just as long as they smile.


From the film Modern Times (1936), the final scene — Orchestra conducted by Alfred Neuman



Nat King Cole – 1954 single with B-side It’s Crazy (Capitol 2897)


Judy Garland

Judy Garland Show, Episode #21, taped: 31 January 1964, aired: 16 February 1964


Sunday Night at the Palladium, London – 8 November 1964


Dean Martin – probably from Dream With Dean, 1964



8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. swiveltam
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 09:22:11

    Can you tell me what the girl in the picture with the roller skates has to do with this song? Was she in the movie? Did she skate to it? I’m working on a chapter for my vintage fictional novel The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress. ( Thanks.


    • doc
      Nov 27, 2013 @ 20:36:03


      In a sequence of the film, Modern Times (1936), Chaplin’s character “The Tramp” gets a job as a night watchman in a department store. The first thing he does after acquiring the job is to escort his orphaned friend (with whom he has recently escaped from a police paddy wagon after each were arrested for separate crimes) played by Paulette Goddard, into the store and directly to a food counter. In it’s review of the film, describes the sequence:

      The Tramp sneaks the shivering and cold gamin into the back entrance of the store. They stock up with sandwiches and cake from the food counter. On the Fourth Floor, the Toy Department, to amuse her, the Tramp performs a risky, blind-folded rollerskating act. He brags: “Look! I can do it blindfolded!” He skates circles nearer and nearer to the edge of a balcony with a missing railing. On the Fifth Floor, in the Bedroom Display, the Tramp warms her with a white fur coat and tucks her safely into one of the store’s luxurious beds. As he must go around the store and punch the time clocks, he promises: “Now go to sleep and I’ll wake you up before the store opens.” [read more]


  2. swiveltam
    Nov 28, 2013 @ 10:41:29

    Awesome! Thank you so much for the quick reply! I will have to watch the entire movie now!


    • doc
      Nov 30, 2013 @ 00:50:01

      You’re very welcome. Good luck with the novel. Your site looks great. BTW the music in your promotional video for The “Girl in the Jitterbug Dress”, in case you might wonder:

      Igloo (Irving Taylor, Vic Mizzy) — recorded by Vincent Lopez and his Suave Swing Orchestra, vocal: Betty Hutton; single issued on the Bluebird label in 1939 as B-10300-A, b/w “Concert in the Park” (Cliff Friend, Dave Franklin)


  3. tam francis
    Nov 30, 2013 @ 06:23:00

    Thanks for the info. You are a wealth of knowledge. It took me a long time to track down most of the songs I used for chapter titles (Soundtrack for the novel), but it was fun. I’m a huge Betty Hutton fan, her voice has such a unique pitch and most of her songs are killer to jitterbug to!

    And thanks for the praise on the site. I’m trying the traditional publishing route (experimenting with present tense vs.past tense and first and third person :) The Paulette Goddard pic served as inspiration for the sequel and a skating scene. Your Tramp video helped too.


  4. Anonymous
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 08:29:54

    great stuff!!


  5. Anonymous
    Jul 25, 2016 @ 09:17:21

    What is the name of the flower on Judy Garland’s dress in her show on episode 21, when she is singing, Smile?


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