How the Forties commonplace “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe” did not be tailored into a Joe Biden marketing campaign track till now’s a thriller, however Cher acknowledged the plain pairing of basic track and candidate and has recorded her rewrite of the tune, which was initially sung by Ethel Waters within the 1943 movie “Cabin within the Sky.”
The track, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, was nominated for an Oscar after Waters sang it within the Black-themed Vincente Minnelli movie. Lots of the authentic lyrics wouldn’t do — Waters refers to “little Joe” within the movie model, which sounds extra like a nickname Donald Trump would apply to the candidate than one thing they’d need in a marketing campaign anthem. In order that reference will get modified to “president Joe” in Cher’s model, amongst different alterations.
Cher launched the track Sunday night time in closing “I Will Vote,” an internet profit for the Biden/Kamala Harris marketing campaign that additionally featured company together with John Legend and Pink. She formally launched the track for streaming and obtain Monday morning.
Cher’s model provides a single phrase to the title to make it “Happiness Is Simply a Thing Called Joe”; whether or not that was inadvertent or achieved on the behest of the writers’ estates to tell apart it from the unique isn’t clear. The primary three traces are the identical as what Waters sings to the Joe character within the ’43 movie — together with “He’s obtained a smile that makes the lilacs need to develop / He’s obtained a approach that makes the angels heave a sigh” — however diverge into extra nationwide pursuits from there.
“Typically the cabin’s gloomy and the desk’s naked” turns into “Proper now our nation’s gloomy, concern is within the air.” “Does he love me good? That’s all I have to know” is changed into “Joe will hold us secure, that’s all we have to know.”
Biden’s well-known smile is nice for a second reference in Cher’s model, as against only one within the authentic, as she begins a second chorus with: “Typically there appears no finish to distress and despair / However when Joe smiles at us, compassion fills the air.” As a coda, she repeats the phrase “President Joe” 3 times, with an additional little bit of inspirational melisma on the ultimate spin.
Matt Serletic produced the monitor, which has well-known session participant Matt Rollings on piano.
Cher’s rewrite is a part of a nice political marketing campaign custom, though there have been fewer cases in latest a long time. In 1960, Sammy Cahn himself dealt with the rewrite on “Excessive Hopes,” as Frank Sinatra turned his then nonetheless pretty recent hit into an anthem for JFK. “Everyone seems to be voting for Jack / Trigger he’s obtained what all the remainder lack / Everybody needs to again —Jack / Jack is heading in the right direction,” went the brand new lyrics.
Equally, Jerry Herman rewrote “Good day Dolly” for Carol Channing to sing for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 as “Good day Lyndon.” And Sam Moore of Sam & Dave turned “Soul Man” into “Dole Man” for Bob Dole. There are few different recognized cases, although, if any, by which the candidate’s title was already present and ready in a recognized track.