Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer

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"Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer"
Cover art for Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer by Jimmy McHugh-Harold Adamson.jpeg
Sheet music cover
Composer(s)Jimmy McHugh
Lyricist(s)Harold Adamson

"Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer" is a World War II song with lyrics by Harold Adamson and music by Jimmy McHugh, published in 1943 by Robbins Music Corp.[1][2] The song was recorded by the Song Spinners for Decca Records, reaching number one on the Billboard pop chart on July 2, 1943.[3] "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer" was the only song with a war connection to appear in the top twenty best-selling songs of 1943 in the United States (although record sales in this period were heavily affected by the first Petrillo recording ban).[4]

The song also became widely known in the Soviet Union in a 1943 adaptation by the popular singer and jazz band leader Leonid Utyosov, titled "Bombers". The translation of the lyrics into Russian is broadly accurate, but the term "prayer" is rendered as "word of honor".[5] This Russian idiom means "only just managing", "just holding on", or "in poor condition".


  1. ^ "The Song Spinners - Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer / Johnny Zero". Discogs.
  2. ^ "Comin' in on a wing and a prayer".
  3. ^ "This Day in Music". Billboard.
  4. ^ Smith, Kathleen E. R. (2003). God Bless America: Tin Pan Alley Goes to War. The University Press of Kentucky. pp. 124–5. ISBN 0-8131-2256-2.
  5. ^ Anichkin, Alexander (9 May 2012). "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer (Russian songs of Victory)". Tetradki: a Russian Review of Books. Retrieved 21 April 2017.

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