Wand'rin' Star

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"Wand'rin' Star"
Single by Lee Marvin
A-side "Wand'rin' Star"
B-side "I Talk to the Trees"
(Clint Eastwood)
Released 1970 (1970)
Format 7"
Writer(s)

"Wand'rin' Star" was a number one single in the UK and Ireland for Lee Marvin for three weeks in March 1970.[1]

It was originally written by Alan J. Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) for the stage musical Paint Your Wagon in 1951. When the film of the musical was made in 1969, Lee Marvin took the role of prospector Ben Rumson. Not a natural singer, Marvin nevertheless sang all of his songs in the film, rejecting the idea of miming to another singer's voice. Despite the film being a box office flop, the soundtrack became a success. Orchestrated and arranged by Nelson Riddle, Marvin's version of the song "Wand'rin Star" becoming an unlikely number-one single in Ireland and the UK for him, famously keeping The Beatles at number two in the UK with their single "Let It Be". Marvin never released a follow-up single, so is classed as a one-hit wonder.

The song was played at Joe Strummer's funeral.

A sound-alike cover appeared on the 1970 album Top of the Pops, Volume 10, with one reviewer using terms like "laryngitic croak" and "gargling gargoyles" to describe how he felt about the cover. [1]

The song was covered by Shane MacGowan and The Popes on their 1997 album The Crock of Gold.

The song was referenced in the tune "Build A Fire" by The KLF. The last lines are, "We'll stop for lunch, in some taco bar. / Lee Marvin on the jukebox, 'Wand'rin' Star.'"

Sample[edit]


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References[edit]

Preceded by
"Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" by Edison Lighthouse
UK Single Chart number one single
March 7, 1970 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel