Famed LA-punk band T.S.O.L. has dropped a new single. Entitled “Is This A Wonderful World?” the track serves as their take on the Louis Armstrong classic “What A Wonderful World” complete with string section and amended lyrics. A video (directed by Trevor Ward) premiered on Alternative Press. The band’’s Jack Grisham spoke with the magazine about the genesis of “Is This A Wonderful World?” telling them, “Its a strange thing when you mimic a piece for comic effect and in the midst of the humor you stop laughing and realize the joke is your life.” Read the full Q&A HERE.

Listen to T.S.O.L.s’ “Is This A Wonderful World?” here:

T.S.O.L. have never shied from political commentary but today’s single marks their starkest message to date. The band’s Jack Grisham explains how this parody of the song came about: “it started as a lark, really. A friend asked if we could do a quick cover of ‘What a Wonderful World” and as we launched in, the words sat uncomfortable on my tongue—Louie, sang about hope amidst the turmoil and I realized that hope had left the building.”  Read the lyrics here:

“Is This A Wonderful World?”

I see seas once green, and soldiers too

I’ve seen them die both serving you

and I say to myself…is this a wonderful world?

I hear words untrue and screams in the night

Once-blessed day is now dark amplified

and I say to myself…is this a wonderful world?

The colors of the rainbow once pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of those travelers you denied

I see you shaking hands saying how do you do

When both of us know that its all about you

I hear babies crying, I’ll watch them grow

They’ll hurt much more than I’ll ever know

and I say to myself…is this our wonderful world?

Yes, I say to myself…is this our wonderful world?

The demos for “Is This A Wonderful World?” were recorded with programmed strings. For the final version the band brought in Eric Gorfain to adapt a string arrangement. Grisham notes, “I met Eric when I was recording my selection for John Doe and Tom DeSavias new book about early Los Angeles Punk Rock, More Fun In The New World. I played him the track and he said that we needed the real thing and he’d like to do it.” To record the song the band went into the studio with Paul Roesller at Kitten Robot studio in Los Angeles.

In keeping with the messaging behind their “parody” of “What A Wonderful World,” T.S.O.L. will be giving “Is This A Wonderful World?” away for free — you can find it HERE.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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