I've Got No Strings

Album: Pinocchio (1940)

Songfacts®:

  • I've got no strings
    To hold me down
    To make me fret, or make me frown
    I had strings
    But now I'm free
    There are no strings on me


    Written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington, the tune from Walt Disney's Pinocchio captures the puppet's joy at being one step closer to becoming a real boy as he can now move freely without strings. Unfortunately, unsavory individuals take advantage of Pinocchio's ability as Honest John Fox and Gideon the Cat manipulate him into being the star attraction for their marionette show. Pinocchio (Dickie Jones) is a sensation when he performs "I've Got No Strings" for the crowd, making him more valuable than ever to John Fox and Gideon.

    Harline, a composer who also worked with Ned Washington on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, left Disney the following year and went on to score films such as the 1948 Cary Grant comedy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Washington moved on to Dumbo, writing "Baby Mine" with Frank Churchill, and later won an Academy Award for Best Original Music for the title song from High Noon (1952).
  • The Russian Cossack puppets are voiced by Patricia Page, Mae Questel, and Mel Blanc. Questel is better known as Betty Boop and Popeye's paramour, Olive Oyl, while Blanc is the voice of Bugs Bunny and a host of other Looney Tunes characters.
  • A 2016 Beats commercial used the song to promote the Dr. Dre-founded company's new line of wireless headphones and earbuds, with several celebrities cutting loose while lip-syncing the tune. DJ Khaled dances down stairs like Pinocchio, Pharrell Williams wanders through a marching band practice, Amber Rose strolls down a corridor, Steve Buscemi dances with a flight attendant, Karlie Kloss dances with Chinese takeout, Rebel Wilson smacks a man's bottom, and Travis Scott hops across a road barrier.
  • Barbra Streisand covered this on her 1965 album, My Name Is Barbra, with an arrangement by Peter Matz.
  • NSYNC used this to open their No Strings Attached concert tour in 2000 as they descended from the rafters onto the stage and danced like marionette puppets before breaking free.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Tony Stark inadvertently creates a robot with a god complex who quotes the song to boast about his freedom to destroy humanity. The darker version is featured in the film's trailer.

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