When You Wish Upon A Star

Album: Pinocchio (1940)


  • This song was written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline for the 1940 Disney movie Pinocchio, where the character Jiminy Cricket sings it at the beginning and end of the movie. Washington was a prolific lyricist on songs for film, and Harline was a staff composer for Disney. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Frank - Toronto, Canada
  • The song is about how dreams can come true, as Pinocchio is able to transform from a wooden doll to a real boy. Disney used the song in many promotional campaigns as it represents the feeling they want their guests to have when they visit the Disney theme parks. It was used in the opening sequences of Disney anthology television series and in Walt Disney Pictures' opening logos. The ships of the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic, use the iconic first seven notes of this melody as their horn signals.
  • Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards was the voice of Jiminy Cricket and performed this song in the movie. Edwards was a popular singer and actor in the '30s and '40s, also providing the voice of Jim Crow in the Disney move Dumbo.
  • This won the 1940 Oscar for Best Song.
  • In Sweden, Norway and Denmark, the song has become a Christmas song, often referring to the Star of Bethlehem. The Swedish language version is called "Ser du stjarnan i det bla," roughly translated: "Do you see the star in the blue sky," and the Danish title is "Nar du ser et stjerneskud," which sort of means "When you see a falling star."
  • The movie Pinocchio plays a small role in the plot of Steven Spielberg's film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, and John Williams's score for that film quotes "When You Wish Upon a Star."
  • Glenn Miller, Rosemary Clooney, Eddie Fisher, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Olivia Newton-John and Idina Menzel are among those to cover the song. The only version to chart on the Hot 100 is by Dion & The Belmonts, who took it to #30 in 1960.
  • On October 3, 2007, the Bourne Company, who owns the publishing rights to this song, filed a lawsuit against the makers of the sitcom Family Guy, claiming copyright infringement in an episode called "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein." The episode includes a parody of the song called "I Need a Jew." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA
  • Mary J. Blige recorded a jazzy version with Barbra Streisand for her 2013 holiday album, A Mary Christmas. Their pairing marked the first time Streisand allowed a duet to be released first on the other artist's project.
  • Kate Bush quotes a portion of the lyrics in her 1978 song "In Search Of Peter Pan."

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 16, 1959, Little Anthony and the Imperials performed "Wishful Thinking" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    The following month on March 23rd, 1959 the song entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #79, that would also be it's peak position on the chart, and on it's second and final week on the Top 100 it was at #94...
    The record's B-side was also a 'wish' song, a covered version of "When You Wish Upon A Star", which won the Oscar for 'Best Original Song' in 1940, it was featured in the the Walt Disney movie 'Pinocchio'...
    Between 1958 and 1965 the New York City doo-wop group had nineteen records on the Top 100 chart, three made the Top 10; "Tears On My Pillow" {#4 in 1958}, "Goin' Out Of My Head" {#6 in 1964}, and "Hurts So Bad" {#10 in 1965}...
    And on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart they had thirteen hits with two reaching #2, "Tears On My Pillow" and "So Much", and both peaked in 1958...
    Jerome 'Little' Anthony Gourdine celebrated his 77th birthday last month on January 8th {2018}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 23rd 1960, Dion and the Belmonts performed at the Armory in Newark, New Jersey...
    At the time the trio's covered version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" was in its first week on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #85...
    {See the next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 7th 1940, the Walt Disney animated movie "Pinocchio" had its world premier in New York City...
    Two days later on February 9th it had its west coast premier in Los Angeles; then fourteen days later on February 23rd it opened in theaters across the U.S.A.
    And twenty years later on April 19th, 1960 Dion & the Belmonts' covered version of "When You Wish Upon A Star" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #85; and on May 23rd it peaked at #30 (for 1 week) and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100.
  • Michael from Mcfarland, WiEven before his career in film, Cliff sold millions of records in the 1920s, most featuring just his amazing voice and uke playing. I don't think there is a comprehensive collection out there on cd, so I just keep buying 78s!
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaWhat a masterpiece of arrangement..the orchestration for the soundtrack vocal,(Leigh Harline?) and Cliff really gives it a heartfelt performance...Genius!
  • Bill from Liverpool, EnglandThe story of Pinnochio was loosely based on the factual event, The Children's Crusade, which was the title of a song by Sting which came up just before this one as I searched randomly.
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhCliff Edwards was in _Gone With the Wind_, too.

    I was hoping for a new category: "More songs sung by cartoon insects."
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