Here is Cher – Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe (download). The song released with Mp3 streaming [320kbps]. The new track is the latest record from the pop music act.
The song, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, was nominated for an Oscar after Waters sang it in the Black-themed Vincente Minnelli film.
Many of the original lyrics would not do — Waters refers to “little Joe” in the film version, which sounds more like a nickname Donald Trump would apply to the candidate than something they’d want in a campaign anthem. So that reference gets changed to “president Joe” in Cher’s version, among other alterations.
The “Believe” singer, who endorsed Biden in February, has been a fierce supporter of his campaign. Prior to Sunday night’s concert, she went so far as to make a cameo on a Biden Victory Fund email.
“I first met Joe Biden in 2006,” Cher wrote in the email. “I saw a speech he’d given, and it was love at first speech. So I went to his office to grill him and I asked him really pointed questions — and unlike most politicians, Joe actually listened to me and cared about what I had to say.”
Cher’s version adds a single word to the title to make it “Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe”; whether that was inadvertent or done at the behest of the writers’ estates to distinguish it from the original is not clear.
The first three lines are the same as what Waters sings to the Joe character in the ’43 film — including “He’s got a smile that makes the lilacs want to grow / He’s got a way that makes the angels heave a sigh” — but diverge into more national interests from there.
“Sometimes the cabin’s gloomy and the table’s bare” becomes “Right now our country’s gloomy, fear is in the air.” “Does he love me good? That’s all I need to know” is turned into “Joe will keep us safe, that’s all we need to know.”
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