I Sing the Body Electric (poem)

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"I Sing the Body Electric" is a poem by Walt Whitman from his 1855 collection Leaves of Grass.

Its original publication, like the other poems in Leaves of Grass, did not have a title. In fact, the line "I sing the body electric" was not added until the 1867 edition. At the time, "electric" was not yet a commonly used term.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 1969, author Ray Bradbury published I Sing the Body Electric, a science fiction anthology named after the poem and including a short story by the same title. The short story was based on a 1962 Twilight Zone episode that Bradbury had also written.
  • I Sing the Body Electric is the title of a 1972 Columbia Records album by the jazz fusion group Weather Report.
  • "I Sing the Body Electric" is the title and first line of a song from the 1980 musical film Fame.
  • "I Sing the Body Electric" was the theme song heard in the PBS fitness and aerobics series Body Electric.
  • "I Sing the Body Electric" was referenced by Susan Sarandon's character, Annie Savoy, in the 1988 movie Bull Durham.
  • I Sing the Body Electro was the 1998 debut solo album of Kurtis Mantronik.
  • "I Sing the Body Electric" is the title of a 2011 song by the trip hop band Arms and Sleepers.
  • The 2012 song, "Body Electric", from Lana Del Rey's third EP, Paradise, alludes to Whitman in the lyric, "Whitman is my daddy." "I sing the body electric" is the song's chorus.[2][3] Part of the poem is recited in Del Rey's short film Tropico.
  • "The Body Electric" is a song on the 1984 Rush album Grace Under Pressure.
  • "Celebrate the Body Electric (It Came from an Angel)" is a song on the 2008 Ponytail album Ice Cream Spiritual.
  • "I Sing the Body Electric, Especially When my Power's Out" is a poem by American poet Andrea Gibson (from the album Flower Boy).
  • "I Sing the Body Electric" was used in an episode of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, where it is somewhat parodied and made strange.
  • "I Sing the Body Electric" was performed by Klaus Schulze in Rouen in April 1976 running time 49:11 and released on his Historic Edition CD in 1995 and reissued on his Ultimate Edition in 2000.


  1. ^ Loving, Jerome. Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself. University of California Press, 1999. ISBN 0-520-22687-9. p. 202
  2. ^ "Lana Del Rey hates personal critics". STV. STV Group plc. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  3. ^ Moore, Alex. "Here's Lana Del Rey's new Walt Whitman-referencing track, 'The Body Electric'". Death and Taxes. Retrieved 5 October 2012.

External links[edit]