Wand'rin' Star
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Wand'rin' Star
"Wand'rin' Star"
Single by Lee Marvin
"Wand'rin' Star"
Released1970 (1970)
Length4:30 (album version)
2:59 (radio edit)
Tom Mack

"Wand'rin' Star" was a number one single in the UK and Ireland for Lee Marvin for three weeks in March 1970.[2]

It was originally written by Alan J. Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) for the stage musical Paint Your Wagon in 1951. When the film of the musical was made in 1969, Lee Marvin took the role of prospector Ben Rumson. Not a natural singer, Marvin nevertheless sang all of his songs in the film, rejecting the idea of miming to another singer's voice. Despite the film being a box office flop, the soundtrack became a success. Orchestrated and arranged by Nelson Riddle, Marvin's version of the song "Wand'rin Star" became a number-one single in Ireland and the UK, keeping The Beatles at number two in the UK with their single "Let It Be". Marvin never released a follow-up single, so he is considered a one-hit wonder.

A sound-alike cover appeared on the 1970 album Top of the Pops, Volume 10, with one reviewer using terms like "laryngitic croak" and "gargling gargoyles" to describe how he felt about the cover.[3]

"Wand'rin' Star" was covered by English comedian and novelist Julian Clary; his version was released as a single in the United Kingdom in 1990, backed with the self-penned track "Uncanny and Unnatural".

The song was covered by Shane MacGowan and The Popes on their 1997 album The Crock of Gold.

In 2002, the song was played at the end of Joe Strummer's funeral.[4]

The song was mentioned in the words of "Build A Fire" by The KLF. The last lines are, "We'll stop for lunch, in some taco bar./Lee Marvin on the jukebox, 'Wand'rin' Star.'"



  1. ^ "Lee Marvin / Clint Eastwood - Wand'rin Star / I Talk To The Trees" at Discogs
  2. ^ "All The Number 1 Singles > 1970's". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 16 March 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  3. ^ [Top of the Pops, Vol. 10 - Various Artists at AllMusic]
  4. ^ Singleton, Phil (24 January 2003). "An Audience with Glen Matlock". God Save the Sex Pistols. North Bar, Blackburn. Retrieved 2018.

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