Tomorrow (Annie)

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Song by Andrea McArdle
GenrePop, show tune
Composer(s)Charles Strouse
Lyricist(s)Martin Charnin

"Tomorrow" is a show tune from the musical Annie, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, published in 1977. The number was originally written as "Replay" (The Way We Live Now) for the 1970 short film Replay, with both music and lyrics by Strouse.[1]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

In 1972 Strouse, Charnin and Thomas Meehan began working on a musical based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strips, Annie. Strouse contributed a reworked version of "Replay" as "Tomorrow". "Annie" took until 1976 to reach Broadway[2] and during that time Strouse reworked "Replay" again for possible use in what became "Charlie and Algernon", a musical version of Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon with book by playwright David Rogers although it was not ultimately used. "[3]

The song has always been prominently featured in productions of the musical throughout its history: several variations of the song were performed in the original 1977 Broadway production, including being the show's finale. Its lyrics are repeated as a personal motto by the character of Annie in Thomas Meehan's 1980 novelisation. It was the entry and concluding credits score for the 1982 film adaptation; an a capella version of the song was performed by Aileen Quinn as Annie during the scene at the White House where Annie and Warbucks meet Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The song pronounces an optimistic view of life through its main themes and the phrases 'hang on until tomorrow' and 'when I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely, I just stick out my chin and grin'. It appears to be in unison with another song in the score, "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile", which again pronounces the importance of smiling, though in a much lighter and cheerful tone.

The lyrics were likely influenced[citation needed] by the song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow", written by the Sherman Brothers for Disney's Carousel of Progress attraction for the 1964 New York World's Fair. They have very similar themes, stressing the importance of looking forward optimistically to a shining future, and in some places use almost identical lyrical phrases (compare "just a dream away" and "only a day away," for example).

Cover versions[edit]

Cissy Houston, (Mother of Whitney Houston) recorded a cover of this song as a single as well as a track on her 1977 self titled album Cissy Houston, Grace Jones recorded a disco version of the song on her debut album Portfolio, in 1977. The song was recorded by Barbra Streisand on her 1978 album Songbird; by The Manhattans on their 1978 album There's No Good in Goodbye; and by Lou Rawls on his 1979 album Let Me Be Good to You. It was also sung by Petula Clark with the Muppets in the background near the end of "The Muppet Show" episode of her own name. Patricia Paay from The Star Sisters also recorded and released her version in 1982. Elaine Paige recorded an up-tempo version for her 1983 album Stages, and a live version from her 40th-anniversary tour is included on the 2008 live album Elaine Paige Live. Lea Salonga recorded it on her album, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes recorded a punk rock version for their 1999 album Are a Drag, featuring an interpolation of "Surrender" by Cheap Trick. It is featured as a hidden track on the 2002 compilation album Land by Patti Smith. Amy Diamond recorded a pop version on her debut album This Is Me Now, in 2005.

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered this song in their 1982 album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood. The Chipettes also covered this song in The Chipette Story, an episode from Alvin and the Chipmunks.

The song was covered by the Rock-afire Explosion animatronic band of ShowBiz Pizza Place in the 1982 "Tribute to Abbey Road" showtape. It, sung by Mitzi Mozzarella, was combined with Maybe and was the first major song sung by Mitzi's current voice actress, Shalisa Sloan, at the age of 11.

Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner performed the chorus of the song with a sock puppet on her hand on a 1987 The Facts of Life episode called Boy About The House in which Beverly Ann (Cloris Leachman) adopts Andy (Mackenzie Astin).

Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver sing an a capella version in the 1993 film Dave.[4]

Former Los Angeles Dodgers organist Nancy Bea Hefley would play the song following a Dodgers loss as an inspirational message. Anaheim Ducks organist Gil Imber has continued the tradition.[5]

The song appears in the 2008 film Igor in the climax of the movie involving a giant robot portraying Annie.

Broadway star Idina Menzel covered the song as the final encore on her 2010–2011 Symphony Tour.

In 2013, the song became the official campaign song for the charity Save the Children, sung by Liverpool chorister Jack Topping.[6]

In 2015, the song was performed by New Zealand pop singer Gin Wigmore for a series of television commercials advertising Air New Zealand.

The song is featured in Deadpool 2 (2018). Ryan Reynolds also performed a live version of the song on the South Korean series King of Mask Singer.[7]

In March 2020, Jennifer Nettles released a version of Tomorrow as Covid-19 was spreading through New York City with a music video, writing "And to my beautiful Broadway community: I recorded this song with Alex Lacamoire on March 12th, the day that Broadway had to shut its doors in order to protect their patrons by no longer assembling in the beautiful masses that come to enjoy story telling through theatre. Alex and I were in the studio finishing an album of theatre songs...It seemed poignantly and eerily kismet that we recorded it as the last session, on our last day in the studio, and then found out Broadway was closed. My love for you quickened me to offer this song to us all. Sending you all love.".[8]

See also[edit]

Annie (2014 film)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "From Basement to Broadway". Washington Post. 7 September 1980.
  4. ^ Dave (1993), retrieved 14 August 2018
  5. ^ Russo, Jenelyn (4 May 2017). "Organist Imber Infuses Ducks Games at Honda Center with Delightful Tone".
  6. ^ "Choirboy sensation Jack Topping joins Save the Children" Save The Children Sept 2013. Accessed 19 December 2013
  7. ^ Herman, Tamar (14 May 2018). "Ryan Reynolds Performs 'Tomorrow' Disguised As a Unicorn on South Korean TV Show: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  8. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

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