John Barry: We Have All the Time in The World

January 31, 2011 at 7:43 pm (cinema, good people, jazz, Jim D, music)

John Barry, 1933 – 2011:  RIP

With all due respect to the late John Barry (a talented composer of film music), I am mainly grateful to him for giving Louis Armstrong a wonderful, posthumous hit.

The more I think about and listen to Louis, the more firmly I am convinced that he was the single greatest artist of the twentieth century. Even when he could no longer blow his horn, his voice was all music. Thanks, John Barry, for giving us a last taste (a lagniappe as they say in New Orleans) of Louis’s musical genius and sheer humanity:

We Have All the Time in the World” is a James Bond theme and popular song sung by Louis Armstrong. Its music was composed by John Barry and the lyrics by Hal David. It is a secondary musical theme in 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the title theme being the instrumental “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” also composed by Barry. The song title, “We Have All the Time in the World”, is taken from James Bond’s final words in both the novel and the film, spoken after his wife’s death. Louis Armstrong was too ill to play his trumpet.

The song was not registered in the music rating charts in the UK when first released, only becoming well known 25 years later, as part of a Guinness beer commercial after My Bloody Valentine chose to cover it for charity. Armstrong’s version was then re-released and reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, a BBC survey showed it is the third-most-popular love song played at weddings (Wikipedia).


  1. Atlanta Roofing HQ said,

    It was one of John Barry’s work that started my love for movie scores. That was the soundtrack of “Somewhere In Time”. In the special edition of the movie’s DVD, he explained that the inspiration for the music was his parents who died weeks apart.

  2. Shena said,

    “His sound style will love forever”
    The melody for “You Only Live Twice” is one of my favorite things ever.

  3. Cranfield said,

    Turned out he didn’t have all the time in the world.

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