Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Album: Life Of Brian (1979)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about always being optimistic, even if your life is awful.
  • Eric Idle sings this at the end of Life Of Brian. Idle plays the lead crucifee. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Billy - Otway, OH, for above 2
  • This song was remade in 1997 by Art Garfunkel for the Movie As Good As It Gets starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. The lyric "Life's a Piece of S--t" is replaced as "Life's a Counterfeit." It can be heard at the end credits. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Logan - Troy, MT
  • A 2014 survey by the UK chain The Co-operative Funeralcare showed that this was the most popular song at British funerals. The comic tune represents a generational shift in attitudes towards a more personal choice, whereby the mourners wish to celebrate their loved one's life with a fitting farewell.

    The second and third most popular songs are more reverent choices. They are the hymns "The Lord Is My Shepherd" and "Abide With Me."
  • When the UK destroyer HMS Sheffield was struck by the Argentine Navy's Exocet cruise missile on May 4, 1982 in the Falklands War, her crew sang this while waiting to be rescued from their sinking ship, as did the crew of HMS Coventry. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Geoffrey J - Corowa, New South Wales, Australia

Comments: 12

  • Kkevin from Oakville, Ontarui, CanadaBruce Cockburn often performs this in concert.
  • Annie from Lombard, IlThe 1st Season ending credits of TAG's reality series said "Life just doesn't fit". The 2nd said "Life's a counterfeit".
  • Andy from Halesowen, West Midlands, United KingdomI have heard it said that the crew of the Destroyer HMS Sheffield sang this song while waiting to be rescued from their sinking ship, which had been hit by an exocet missile during the Falklands War :)
  • Robert from Denver, CoWhile they were filming the closing scene for Life of Brian, they were all hanging around on their crosses in the hot sun between scenes and Eric Idle started singing this song, making it up as he went along. Everybody except Idle loved it and they decided to keep it in, much to Idles chagrin.
    It remains one of my favorite songs to this day and I listen to it whenever I feel down.

    Thanks Eric.
  • Nady from Adelaide, AustraliaBEST. MOVIE. EVER. It's traditional in our family to watch this movie on easter.
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkSpam
  • Elo from Pärnu, EuropeI love Monty Python and the song is even more than BRILLIANT! The lyrics are very good :)
  • Audrey from Rio Dell, CaThis song ALWAYS gets me in a better mood!
  • Jennifer from Los Angeles, CaEven though it's satirical, it always cheers me up when I'm in a bad mood.
  • Murph from Peoria, IlThis song was sung en masse at the end of Graham Chapman's funeral service -- after a hiliarious eulogy by John Cleece
  • Bob from St Louis, MoArt Garfunkel sings a version of this as the credits roll in the movie "As Good As It Gets". The lyrics are cleaned-up: insead of "Life's a piece of s--t, when you think of it...", he sings "Life's a counterfeit, when you think of it..."
  • Pinkmonty from London, Englandif ever thinking of suicide, listen to THIS song!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Edwin McCain

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Brenda Russell

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.