I’ve Got the World on a String

‘I’ve Got The World on a String’ was composed by Harold Arlen, and the lyrics were written by Ted Koehler.  This song was written for the twenty-first edition of the Cotton Club series which opened on October 23, 1932, the first of the Cotton Club Parades.  The 21st edition of the Cotton Club Parade was the second production that the songwriting team of Koehler and Arlen wrote for New York’s Cotton Club.  They had one outstanding number from each Parade that went on to be a hit, which was an impressive achievement.  The Harlem Cotton Club closed in 1936, moving to a new location on Broadway and 48th Street, which closed in 1940.  American jazz singer Aida Ward was the first one to perform this song live, but she never recorded it.  The song was recorded and popularized by Cab Calloway who had a #18 hit in 1932.   Frank Sinatra’s single was released on June 15, 1953 which reached #14 on the charts and in 1956 he put this song on his compilation album, This Is Sinatra!.

In Frank Sinatra’s hit song ‘My Way’, he states “Regrets, I’ve had a few”, and this might be about his career back in early 1953, where Sinatra hit bottom.  He couldn’t get a record contract, and he could not even get booked into a nightclub at this time.  It was bad, he was broke, lost his fans, lost his voice, lost his agent, lost his movie contract, lost his TV show and lost his record label.  The singer once said that he wished he had stayed with Nancy Barbato, whom he married in 1939, but instead he dumped the mother of his three children to be with Ava Gardner, and because of Frank’s fame many women made themselves readily available to him.  Gardner and Sinatra seemed to enjoy a lot of the same things, like jazz, alcohol and sex and they were both insecure and dreaded being alone.  A photo capturing them together was taken and it was printed in magazines and newspapers, which caused Frank to fall out of favor with his more conservative fans who criticized him for being unfaithful to his wife and for being unfaithful to her with a woman who was considered by them as morally questionable.  The negative publicity led him on a downward spiral that only recovered after he landed the role of Private Angelo Maggio in the 1953 movie From Here to Eternity.  Frank and Ava wed, but their union lasted two years, however despite their split, Gardner used her influence to help Frank get this part.

When you have the world on a string, you feel happy and confident because things are going your way and it seems like everything will work out for you, because you are in complete control of what is going on in your life.  Instead of having someone or something pulling your strings, things will just fall into your lap, they will drop from the skies, and all things will turn out to be marvelous.   The world seems different when you are in love, you’re sitting on a rainbow and life is beautiful, as long as you have a hold on the string.

I’ve got the world on a string, sittin’ on a rainbow
Got the string around my finger
What a world, what a life, I’m in love!
I’ve got a song that I sing

I can make the rain go, anytime I move my finger
Lucky me, can’t you see, I’m in love
Life is a beautiful thing, as long as I hold the string
I’d be a silly so and so, if I should ever let go

I’ve got the world on a string, sittin’ on a rainbow
Got the string around my finger
What a world, what a life, I’m in love
Life is a beautiful thing, as long as I hold the string
I’d be a silly so and so, if I should ever let go
I’ve got the world on a string, sittin’ on a rainbow
Got the string around my finger
What a world
Man this is the life
And now I’m so in love!

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Nekneeraj’s Photo Challenge #347.

10 thoughts on “I’ve Got the World on a String

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