“What A Wonderful World” By Louis Armstrong Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox


Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.



Leonard Cohen – What A Wonderful World Is “Such A Very Beautiful Song”

In the May 27, 2006 episode of NPR’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviews Leonard Cohen1 about a variety of issues, one of which is how Cohen compares himself to classic American songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Harold Arlen. Cohen agrees with the characterization that he is more cynical than that group of composers and then segues into his (then) recent thought that perhaps he “should leave a song or two like [What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong] behind me.” In the process, he indeed describes What A Wonderful World as “such a very beautiful song.”

What A Wonderful World was written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss and was  first recorded by Louis Armstrong, who released it as a single in 1968.2

Louis Armstrong Performs “What A Wonderful World”

Note: Originally posted Apr 11, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. See Hear Leonard Cohen Read His Poems & Talk About Boogie Street, The Loss Of His Savings, Mount Baldy Zen Center, & More []
  2. Wikipedia, accessed 11 April 2011 []

3 Replies to ““What A Wonderful World” By Louis Armstrong Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox”

  1. rike

    Thank you for this post, Dr. HGuy. Just what the doctor ordered, and the fact that it is on “Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox” makes the song even more memorable.

  2. Arlene Dick

    Alas, this exquisite rendition has been much overused over the years. In just about everyone’s milestone video that I have watched, this was the background music. My reaction? Oh no, not again. Shades of Hallelujah.

  3. rike

    True, Arlene. But I gladly wake up every day to the sounds of “Fuer Elise”, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, “What a Wonderful World,” and Halleluja!