Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Swing Little Girl" sung by Charlie Chaplin

In 1968, Charlie created a new score for The Circus. He also wrote lyrics to a theme song called "Swing Little Girl" which was to be played over the opening credits while Merna Kennedy swings on a trapeze.  Three male vocalists made a demo of the song and Charlie chose the rendition he liked best. This recording, made by a British singer named Ken Barrie, still exists in the Chaplin archives. But according to arranger Eric James, the interpretation, though good, was not quite what they were looking for. Since Charlie privately enjoyed singing the song, James suggested that they record him, just so that he and his family could have it to listen to with orchestral accompaniment. Charlie happily complied and his rendition was the one that was chosen for the film. He was 79 years old.

Cover of the soundtrack LP for The Circus, released in Germany in 1970


  1. That was CC singing Jess, and TC was re-released in late 1969.


    1. Uh, thanks. I know it's Charlie. I only mentioned the other guy because it gave some background on the song. Sorry if it was confusing. The score was created in 1968 so that's probably why I put that in there. My mistake.

    2. Oh, okay. When you said "This recording....." I thought you meant the one you posted. Sorry.


  2. I've always loved this. There's something incredibly moving about it.