“What a Wonderful World” Lyrics Meaning [Explained]

Louis Armstrong’s classic song, “What a Wonderful World,” has enchanted listeners for generations with its simple yet profound lyrics and Armstrong’s unmistakable raspy voice.

The impact of “What a Wonderful World” has been long-lasting. In 1999, Armstrong’s original recording was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

At its core, the song is a celebration of the beauty in the world and the power of human connection. In this article, we will delve into the meaning behind the lyrics and explore the broader themes that continue to resonate with audiences today.

Lyrics Interpretation

Before we delve into the story behind this song, let’s take a closer look at each verse of the lyrics.

Verse 1

I see trees of green, red roses too

I see them bloom for me and you

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The first verse of the song highlights the simple beauty of the natural world, from the green trees to the blooming red roses. This imagery emphasizes the shared experience of appreciating nature’s wonders and sets the stage for the uplifting message that follows.

Verse 2

I see skies of blue and clouds of white

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

In the second verse, Armstrong presents a contrast between the day and night, emphasizing the importance of finding beauty in all aspects of life. By describing both the day and the night as “blessed” and “sacred,” he suggests that every moment holds inherent goodness and is worth cherishing.


The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of people going by

The bridge connects the beauty of nature to the diversity of human experiences. By comparing the colors of the rainbow to the faces of people passing by, Armstrong emphasizes the importance of celebrating and appreciating the diverse tapestry of human life.

Verse 3

I see friends shaking hands, saying, “How do you do?”

They’re really saying, “I love you”

The third verse delves into the theme of human connection, with the simple act of friends shaking hands as a symbol of love, unity, and understanding. This verse serves as a reminder that beneath everyday interactions lies a deeper connection between people.

Verse 4

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow

They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The final verse touches on the circle of life and the continuation of knowledge from one generation to the next. Armstrong’s humble acknowledgment that future generations will learn more than he ever could highlights the importance of fostering an environment where love, unity, and respect are passed down.


Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah

In the outro, Armstrong reiterates the central message of the song: the world is a beautiful place when we take the time to appreciate its wonders and the connections that bring us together.

True Meaning Behind “What a Wonderful World”

Louis Armstrong’s song “What a Wonderful World” is a beautiful message of hope, unity, and beauty. It emphasizes the goodness within people and the world in a simple and heartwarming way.

The lyrics remind us of the potential for peace on earth and the possibility of harmony between different races. By exploring the verses and bridge of the song, we can grasp its deeper meaning, which highlights the interconnection between nature, humanity, and love.

In the first verse, Armstrong focuses on the beauty of nature, observing the trees and flowers that bloom for everyone. This natural phenomenon reminds him of the world’s inherent wonder.

The second verse follows a similar pattern, admiring the beauty of the sky and clouds, as well as the passage of time from day to night. Armstrong recognizes the blessing in the daytime and the sacred peace that comes with the night, reminding himself of the world’s wonders.

The bridge introduces a human element, connecting the wonders of nature with the people of the world. Armstrong notices a rainbow, an image of love and happiness, and draws a parallel between its colors and the faces of the people he sees.

This could be a reference to the unity and diversity of races or even an unintentional nod to the LGBTQ+ community. The rainbow imagery emphasizes the importance of acceptance and the love that exists within people’s hearts.

The final verse looks towards the future, acknowledging the growth and potential of the younger generation. Armstrong’s recognition that they will learn and know more than he ever will showcases the power of an open-minded and accepting society. The youth’s inclination towards understanding and inclusivity mirrors the themes of love, unity, and interconnectedness that permeate the song.

Ultimately, “What a Wonderful World” is a powerful ode to the beauty of nature and humanity, promoting love, acceptance, and unity on a global scale.

Cultural Impact of “What A Wonderful World”

What a Wonderful World” is a timeless classic that has been featured in various media over the years. This song gained popularity and became a standard, captivating the hearts of many listeners.

You may have heard it in the closing scenes of BBC radio’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and the TV adaptation of the series. It was also used in movies like “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “12 Monkeys,” and “Madeline.” Did you know that it was even the theme song for the TV sitcom “Family Matters” until it was replaced after the fifth episode?

In 2001, rappers Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and the Alchemist released “The Forest,” which used a few lines from the song in a parody manner. But despite the parodies, Louis Armstrong’s recording continues to sell well and was ranked at No. 171 on Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Best Songs of All Time” in 2021.

Eva Cassidy & Katie Melua Version

Back in 2007, Katie Melua collaborated with the late American singer and guitarist Eva Cassidy for a charity single, a stunning rendition of “What a Wonderful World.” The song was exclusively released through Tesco stores and the Tesco Direct website.

The collaboration was a huge success and quickly shot up the charts in the UK and Scotland, becoming both Melua and Cassidy’s first number-one hit in the UK. While the song only stayed on the UK chart for five weeks, it managed to stay in the Scottish top 100 for an impressive 11 weeks.

Melua expressed her gratitude to all the fans who bought the single, and the song was later featured on her 2008 compilation album, “The Katie Melua Collection.”

It’s great to see the power of music bringing together talented artists to create something truly special for a good cause.


Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” serves as a timeless reminder of the beauty in both nature and human connection. By weaving together vivid imagery of the natural world with heartfelt expressions of love and unity, the song encourages listeners to look beyond their immediate circumstances and embrace the world’s wonders.

This message is as relevant today as it was when the song was first released, reminding us of the importance of fostering compassion, understanding, and a sense of togetherness in an ever-changing world.

So, the next time you listen to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” take a moment to reflect on the beauty that surrounds you and the connections that make our world a truly wonderful place.

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