High Hopes (Frank Sinatra song)

Released 1959 (single);
1961 (album version)
Genre Show tune
Writer(s) Sammy Cahn
Composer(s) Jimmy Van Heusen

“High Hopes” is a popular song first popularized by Frank Sinatra, with music written by James Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It was introduced by Sinatra and child actor Eddie Hodges in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head, nominated for a Grammy and won an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 32nd Academy Awards.

The song describes two scenarios where animals do seemingly impossible acts. First, an ant moves a rubber tree plant by itself, then a ram single-handedly destroys a “billion kilowatt dam.” The desires of these animals are described as “pie in the sky,” although the song implies they ultimately accomplish them. The song finishes comparing troubles and hardships and sorrows to balloons; the problem has gone away when the balloon is popped.


Frank Sinatra

“High Hopes” was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1959 in a hit version, featuring a children’s chorus, which was included in his 1961 album, All the Way. The tune reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100.[citation needed] The track peaked at #6 in the UK Singles Chart. Sinatra also recorded a version of the tune with different lyrics which was used as the theme song for the 1960 Presidential Campaign of John Kennedy.

Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr. performed the song with a children’s chorus at the 32nd Academy Awards ceremony, where it won the award for Best Original Song.

Dinah Shore
Dinah Shore recorded the song with a children’s chorus in 1960.

Doris Day
Doris Day recorded a rather jazzy version of the song for her 1964 album, With a Smile and a Song. Her version was used in the 1998 film Antz.

Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby recorded the song for his 1968 album, Thoroughly Modern Bing.

Harry Kalas
The song also was popularized in Philadelphia by Phillies play-by-play announcer Harry Kalas, who made the song his personal anthem. Kalas sang “High Hopes” after the Phillies won the 1993 National League Championship, and again after the 2008 World eries.Beginning after his death, after each home Phillies win, the home fans sing the song while the lyrics and a video of Kalas are played on the scoreboard above Harry the K’s restaurant in left field.

Rick Logan
Rick Logan recorded a rather short version of the song without any music and with a women’s chorus by Donna Davidson, Luana Jackman, Susie Stevens-Logan and Bobbi Page for A Goofy Movie in 1995.