Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.” the Monty Python tune initially heard in Life of Brian (’79) and later in As Good As It Gets (’97), was written with a wink. It’s not exactly a parody of the kind of song typified by George and Felix Powell‘s “Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag,” but it certainly flirts with a nudge-nudge.

And yet Art Garfunkel’s version, recorded for James L. Brooks’ 1997 film, erases any hints of irony, and in fact replaced the original “Life’s a piece of shit” lyric with the G-rqted “Life’s a counterfeit.” It’s obviously sung with sincerity. And that choir! It’s a happiness anthem.

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life

For life is quite absurd
And death’s the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin
Give the audience a grin
Enjoy it, it’s your last…