Swing Little Girl

Music and Lyrics by Charles Chaplin for the soundtrack of The Circus, 1968



Chaplin returned to his early silent films later in life, to compose music to accompany them on soundtracks for new theatrical release. The Circus was re-released by United Artists in 1969. At the music recording session, a male vocalist was employed to sing Swing High Little Girl, which was to be played over the opening credits of the film as Merna Kennedy swings on a trapeze. His recording still exists in the Chaplin archives, but according to arranger Eric James, the interpretation, though good, was not quite what they were looking for. Chaplin was apparently always singing the song, and James suggested that they record him, just so that he and his family could have it to listen to with orchestral accompaniment. Chaplin happily complied...and his rendition was the one that was chosen for the film. He was 79 years old.

Swing Little Girl - Lyrics

Swing little girl
Swing high to the sky
And don’t ever look at the ground
If you’re looking for rainbows
Look up to the sky
You’ll never find rainbows
If you’re looking down

Life may be dreary
But never the same
Some day it’s sunshine
Some day it’s rain

Swing little girl
Swing high to the sky
And don’t ever look to the ground
If you’re looking for rainbows
Look up to the sky
But never, no never, look down

© Copyright Bourne Co. / Roy Export Company Establishment