If I Ruled the World
"If I Ruled the World" is a popular song, composed by Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel, which was originally from the 1963 West End musical Pickwick (based on Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers). In the context of the stage musical, the song is sung by Samuel Pickwick, when he is mistaken for an election candidate and called on by the crowd to give his manifesto. Ornadel and Bricusse received the 1963 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
The song is usually associated with Sir Harry Secombe, who got the song to No 18 in the UK charts in 1963, but has been performed by other singers, notably Tony Bennett, Robert Goulet, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Tom Jones and Regina Belle. Bennett originally recorded the song in 1965, and had a number 34 hit with it on the U.S. pop singles charts. Bennett, with Celine Dion, returned to the song on his Grammy-winning 2006 album Duets: An American Classic.
Andy Hallett – the actor best known for playing the part of Lorne ('The Host') in the television series Angel – sang a cover version of the song in that series' final episode. The politician-spoofing BBC panel show If I Ruled the World was named after the song.
Jamie Cullum also recorded a version for his album The Pursuit, and performed it at his special performance at the Late Night Prom, number Prom 55, of The Proms in London, with The Heritage Ensemble, on Thursday 26 August 2010 between 22:15 and 13.45. As shown on BBC televisions' BBC Four on the following night.