I'm Sitting on Top of the World

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"I'm Sitting on Top of the World"
Sheet music cover, 1925
PublishedOctober 7, 1925 (1925-10-07) Leo Feist, Inc.[1]
Composer(s)Ray Henderson
Lyricist(s)Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young

"I'm Sitting on Top of the World" is a popular song with music written by Ray Henderson and lyrics by Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young. It was published in 1925.

The song was most likely first recorded by Art Gillham (‘the Whispering Pianist’), who recorded ‘I'm Sitting on Top of the World’ on 24 October 1925. Al Jolson's recording was made on December 21, 1925.[2] Jolson sang it in the 1928 part-talkie film The Singing Fool and in his biographical movie The Jolson Story in 1946, where it was lip-synced by actor Larry Parks. [3]

Popular recordings in 1926 were by Jolson, Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Hotel Biltmore Orchestra, and by Frank Crumit.[4]

The song entered the public domain in the United States along with all other works from 1925 in 2021.

Notable cover versions[edit]

Notable interpretations have been recorded by these performers:[5]

Appearances of the song[edit]

Jolson's recording (1925) was played:

  • As part of the soundtrack of Woody Allen's film Zelig (1983).
  • In the closing sequence of Richard Loncraine's film Richard III (1995).
  • During the opening montage of 1930s New York City in the 2005 remake of King Kong.


  • Additionally, the song "I'm On My Way" by The Proclaimers makes reference to the song, saying "I'd have Al Jolson sing 'I'm sittin' on top of the world'."


  1. ^ Library of Congress. Copyright Office. (1925). Catalog of Copyright Entries, 1925 Musical Compositions For the Year 1925 New Series Vol 20 Part 3. United States Copyright Office. U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  2. ^ Goldman, Herbert G. (1988). Jolson - The Legend Comes to Life. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 386. ISBN 0-19-506329-5.
  3. ^ ""THE JOLSON STORY" ~ HIGHLIGHTS 1946 HD - YouTube". YouTube.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 524. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  5. ^ CarlinAmerica.com
  6. ^ "Discogs.com". Discogs.com. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 349. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.