Smile, by Charlie Chaplin

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Smile, by Charlie Chaplin, with sheet music

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On the musical facet of Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in London, England. He has an extensive career as an actor, comedian, composer, producer, screenwriter, director, writer, editor and financier of his films. But also in music.

Throughout his life, Chaplin received multiple awards and nominations. He received the Honorary Oscar Award in 1928 and 1972, was a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1948, was made a Knight of the Order of the British Empire in 1975, and a star with his name was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1970.

In 1952, after a series of political problems that involved him with communism and anti-American activities, he had to go into exile in Switzerland, where he spent the rest of his life.

In addition to all this, Charles Chaplin was a self-taught musician, but this was not an impediment for the artist to create many of the musical compositions for his films.

For the composition he sought the advice of professional musicians, and thus in this way capture his musical ideas. In his youth he became very passionate and fond of music, with which he also came to earn a living.

He empirically learned to play various musical instruments, such as violin, piano, cello, flute and organ.

He did everything by ear and was endowed with an innate sense for melody. Many of his scores were outlined on the piano or he simply whistled them to his musical arrangers who were in charge of composing them. Then they worked on them together during long sessions, taking care of even the smallest detail. The music fills all his films with great elegance.

The song ‘Smile’, final scene of the movie ‘Modern Times’ (1936). This is one of the works that has had the greatest impact, and it can be said that it is the best known.

In the year of 1954 the lyrics of this song were composed by the composers John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons.
It is necessary to point out that this film was not released in the United States due to ideological and political problems that Charles Chaplin had with the United States government, which forced him to go into exile in Switzerland.

It was not until 1972 that the film was released in the United States.

The theme of the movie ‘A King of New York’, with which he associated with the professional pianist and musician Eric James for the realization of the arrangements and subsequent recording.

Chaplin understood that the melody should star in his compositions, since he considered that it was the most appropriate vehicle for the expression of feelings staged, and thus generate a connection with the public in the transmission of the message of his films.

The great Charles Chaplin not only stood out for his cinematographic artistic career, but also for his humanity and empathy with the most needy and oppressed, for which he uses music to establish an emotional connection with the public, and in this way achieve that it undertakes the journey from the mind to the heart, necessary premises to be able to build a more humane and conscious world.

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