What A Wonderful World

"What A Wonderful World" was written by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss, and George Douglas, but first recorded and popularized by Louis Armstrong. The Lips performed this cover to close the In A Priest Driven Ambulance album. Aside from "Plastic Jesus," it is the only cover song to appear on a proper Lips studio album. The Louis Armstrong version has also been commonly played on the PA directly before or after the Lips' live shows throughout their history.

Wayne's quote from Staring At Sound:

"They [some of the underground indie rock audience and press] thought we were really saying, 'It's an evil, shitty world,' and in some ways, I think that's why Jonathan liked it. But I just took it as this great song. I found myself thinking, 'This really is a simple, perfect sentiment,' and the way that the melodies and the chords all work to propel the singing, it really is perfect. I don't know why we stumbled on it as something you would associate with the Flaming Lips, but I guess by doing it, it became that. We were struggling with it - I still don't know what the chords are - but when Dave Fridmann was recording us, he said, 'You know, you aren't doing that right, there are some big holes in the ship, but that's what makes it unique and beautiful.' Other guys wouldn't have done that, they'd have tried to make us fix it, but that's one of Dave's strengths."

Flaming Lips Version
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see 'em 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 are so pretty in the sky
They're also on the faces of people goin' by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you

I hear babies cry, and I watch 'em grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
I think to myself what a wonderful world

Discography Appearances


"What A Wonderful World" appeared off an on in the setlist from 1989 to 1996. When it was played, it would often close out the set. It was resurrected and performed at least once in 1999 and at the two New Year's Eve shows at the end of 2006.


Live Performances

03/22/1989 Charlotte NC USA Pteradactyl Club
The Brain has documented 28 Performances
The Brain has documented 18 Live Downloads available
12/31/2006 Los Angeles CA USA Galen Center New Year's Eve  
12/30/2006 San Francisco CA USA Bill Graham Auditorium New Year's Eve  
08/18/1999 New York NY USA Tramps  
06/29/1996 Roskilde Denmark Animal Showgrounds Roskilde Festival Download Available
05/22/1996 Houston TX USA The Abyss Download Available
05/11/1996 Seattle WA USA Moe's Download Available
05/04/1996 Minneapolis MN USA First Avenue Download Available
04/29/1996 Chicago IL USA The Double Door Download Available
03/25/1996 Cologne Germany Luxor Download Available
03/18/1996 Frankfurt Germany Nachtleben Download Available


Live Photos

The Flaming Lips - NYE 2006
New Year's Eve
Galen Center
Los Angeles CA - USA

Live Video

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