High Hopes (Frank Sinatra song)
"High Hopes" is a popular song first popularized by Frank Sinatra, with music written by James Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It was introduced by Sinatra and child actor Eddie Hodges in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head, nominated for a Grammy and won an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 32nd Academy Awards.
|Single by Frank Sinatra|
|from the album All the Way|
|B-side||"All My Tomorrows"|
|Released||June 5, 1959 (single);|
1961 (album version)
|Recorded||May 8, 1959|
|Studio||Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California|
|Composer(s)||Jimmy Van Heusen|
|Frank Sinatra singles chronology|
The song describes two scenarios where animals do seemingly impossible acts. First, an ant moves a rubber tree plant by itself, then a ram single-handedly destroys a "billion kilowatt dam." The desires of these animals are described as "pie in the sky," although the song implies they ultimately accomplish them. The song finishes comparing troubles and hardships and sorrows to balloons; the problem has gone away when the balloon is popped.
"High Hopes" was originally recorded by American singer Frank Sinatra in 1959 in a hit version featuring a children's chorus, which was later included in his 1961 album All the Way (this version is not the version that appeared in the film, as the film version paired Sinatra with Eddie Hodges rather than with a children's chorus, and also, the lyrics were slightly different). The tune reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track peaked at #6 in the UK Singles Chart. Sinatra also recorded a version of the tune with different lyrics which was used as the theme song for the 1960 Presidential Campaign of John Kennedy.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Dinah Shore recorded the song with a children's chorus in 1960.
The song also was popularized in Philadelphia by Phillies play-by-play announcer Harry Kalas, who made the song his personal anthem. Kalas sang "High Hopes" after the Phillies won the 1993 National League Championship, and again after the 2008 World Series. Beginning after his death, after each home Phillies win, the home fans sing the song while the lyrics and a video of Kalas are played on the scoreboard above Harry the K's restaurant in left field.
English singer Rick Logan recorded a shortened version of the song without any music and with a women's chorus by American actresses Donna Davidson-Medine, Luana Jackman, Susie Stevens-Logan and Bobbi Page for A Goofy Movie in 1995.
English pop singer Robbie Williams performed the song on his Swings Both Ways Live tour in 2014, accompanied by a children's choir composed of students from each venue location's respective Stagecoach Theatre Arts school. The performance was included on the Swings Both Ways live album.
In popular culture
- 85th Academy Awards - The song was performed by Seth MacFarlane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Daniel Radcliffe during the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony.
- A Goofy Movie - Shortly after leaving for a road trip, Goofy puts an 8-track tape of the song into his car stereo and sings along, off-key and out of tune; annoyed by this, his teenage son Max flips the stereo over to a radio station playing loud hard rock music and does air guitar with his hands (which was exactly what he was doing before, until Goofy interrupted). A fight over the music ensues, resulting in the tape and stereo being destroyed.
- Antz - The song plays in the first half of the end credits.
- The Rat Pack - A customized version of the song is performed by the Rat Pack, consisting of Frank Sinatra (portrayed by Ray Liotta), Dean Martin (Joe Mantegna), Sammy Davis Jr. (Don Cheadle), Peter Lawford (Angus MacFadyen) and Joey Bishop (Bobby Slayton) at a fundraiser for John Kennedy's 1960 presidential election campaign.
- The Simpsons (episode 1F01 "Rosebud") - Principal Skinner, voiced by Harry Shearer, sings the song with a mob.
- Laverne and Shirley - The title characters sing the song in numerous episodes to cheer themselves up when down on their luck.
- Rocky Balboa - The announcers play the original 1959 recording of the song on the loudspeakers when Rocky Balboa enters the ring. He at first doubts when hearing the song that his brother-in-law "Paulie Pennino" has chosen, but later says "He's very good, Sinatra."
- Muppets Tonight (episode 207 "Rick Moranis") - While telling Seymour and Pepe that they need to have skill, patience and high hopes, Moranis begins singing the song. However, Seymour interrupts by smashing the ant who later taken in an ambulance prompting Moranis to continue singing including the ant's injury in the lyrics.
- Newhart (episode: "What Makes Dick Run") - Larry, Darryl and Darryl sing the song in their play for Stephanie.
- Captain Kangaroo (many episodes)
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - In chapter 1, Ramona's dad sings the song's chorus with rather nonsensical lyrics that he came up with himself.
- Mr. Belvedere (episode: "Valentine's Day") - Kevin Owens, portrayed by Rob Stone, plays the drums of the song.
- The Middle (episode: "Hecking it Up") - The Hecks sing this song to Sue to cheer her up.
- High Hopes theme tune - a version played on a harp is used for the opening and closing credits.
- Family Matters (episode: "The Looney Bin") – Mr. Looney and Steve Urkel sing this song to Carl to lighten the mood.
- Plane Crazy (1998 documentary by Robert X. Cringely) – the song is featured with modified lyrics as the intro theme.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7.
- The Capitol Years box set liner notes, 1990, p. 42.
- Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles, 12th Edition. Record Research.
- ""High Hopes" (John F. Kennedy Presidential Campaign Song) - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum". www.jfklibrary.org.
- "Soundtracks for Antz (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Paul Luce (14 April 2009). "Remembering Harry Kalas". Delaware County Daily Times. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
- Harris, Aisha (25 February 2013). "Was That the Oscars? Or the Tonys?". Slate. Retrieved 25 February 2013.