The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise

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"The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise"
Published 1919
Form Ballad
Composer Ernest Seitz
Lyricist Gene Lockhart
Language English

"The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" is a popular ballad with lyrics by Gene Lockhart and music (Toronto 1918) by the concert pianist Ernest Seitz, who had conceived the refrain when he was 12. Embarrassed about writing popular music, Seitz used the pseudonym "Raymond Roberts" when the song was first published by Chappell in 1919.


More than 100 versions have been recorded. Initially, when the song's hopeful sentiment appealed to post-war North America, it was recorded by both singers and instrumentalists, including Morton Downey, Fritz Kreisler, Ted Lewis, and John Steel. Later, as a popular vehicle for improvisation, it was recorded by many jazz musicians, among them Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt, Mel Powell, Jess Stacy, and Jack Teagarden. A version made for Capitol in 1951 by guitarists Les Paul and Mary Ford was a million-seller. The Beatles recorded a home version on a Grundig tape recorder, sometime in the late 1950s. The Beatles version featured guitars by Harrison and Lennon and vocals from Paul McCartney. Canadian jazz musicians to record the song include Bert Niosi (1946), Peter Appleyard (1957), Ed Bickert (1979), and Oscar Peterson (1980). A version by doo-wop group the Larks is featured in the 1955 film Rhythm and Blues Revue.

Les Paul's version was one of the first electric guitar recordings to feature distortion.[citation needed]

One of the most memorable covers of the song was done by Stan Laurel in the Laurel and Hardy film The Flying Deuces (1939), as Laurel takes the bed strings and plays the song on it like a harp. It was an ironic gesture as the boys, who joined the FFL, were caught deserting and were to be shot at dawn.

Recorded Versions[edit]

Carl Perkins [Live on the "Carl Perkins and Friends" release]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

The Tonight Show Band