day 04 – A Song That Makes You Sad – Charlie Chaplin – Smile
This song, although it is called “Smile” usually puts a lump in my throat. The lyrics are basically saying “keep a strong exterior, even if your life is crumbling around you, show people that it doesn’t affect you, and keep smiling”. The lyrics do have a happy tone to them, but the message, to me, is one of “no one wants to see you when you are sad, so smile and they will like you”.
Originally appearing in Chaplin’s movie “Modern Times” (1936), In the final scene, Charlie and the gamine set off down the road to a new life. When they get up off the grass verge to go, he pauses and points to the corners of his mouth, indicating that she should smile.
The film soundtrack is only instrumental, however later the lyrics were penned, and they stuck. This was not uncommon for instrumental songs in the day, as timeless anthems like “Amazing Grace” were also lyricless in their beginning.
This song was later given a rebirthing when sang by Germaine Jackson at the Micheal Jackson Memorial Concert. As this was one of Michael’s favourite songs, Germaine sang it to his golden casket, barely holding back tears, and to a silent stage and audience. A very moving performance of the song.
Charlie Chaplin – Smile
Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just