Where Did Willy Wonka’s “Good Morning Starshine, the Earth Says Hello!” Come From?

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“Good morning, Starshine. The Earth says hello!”

It’s an odd line from an odd man. The line was so odd that it earned Willy Wonka some stares from the main and supporting characters in the 2005 musical comedy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but if there’s one person eccentric enough to use that line as a greeting, it would have to be Wonka. The line reflects his odd character so much, you can’t help but link the line to him. In fact, it has become a part of the Willy Wonka meme universe (you know, the one where Condescending Wonka belongs).

But did you know that that line was not originally from Wonka?

The line is from a popular ‘60s song. Today, we’re going to talk about the origin of one of the most quotable Willy Wonka quotes: the song it came from, specifically the line “Good morning, Starshine. The Earth says hello!” and why it’s the perfect greeting for your eccentric Wonka (and you!).

 

Recap: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If you’ve read Road Dahl’s 1964 novel of the same name, watched the original 1971 film adaptation of the book, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, or watched this 2005 adaptation, you might already have a good idea of what the movie is about.

The story is about Charlie Bucket, a poor young boy living with her parents and four grandparents. Their impoverished house is located near the factory of the legendary and eccentric chocolatier and candy maker Willy Wonka, who Charlie’s grandfather, Grandpa Joe, once worked for. At the start of the film, the factory has been closed to the public because of competitors trying to steal Wonka’s formulas.

One day, Wonka announces a contest to the whole world: five random Wonka Bars contain a Golden Ticket, giving five people a chance to get a full tour of the factory. All five winners get a lifetime supply of chocolate as well as a “special prize” at the end of the tour. Charlie eventually gets his hands on a ticket and, along with Grandpa Joe, goes to the factory tour.

Charlie and Grandpa Joe meet Wonka as well as the four other children who found a ticket and their parents. Throughout the tour, the other four children’s character flaws cause them to leave the tour. As the only child remaining, Wonka tells Charlie that his prize is becoming the heir to his factory.  Charlie’s kindness and innocent nature earned him gained him the biggest prize, which is one of the lessons imparted to readers by Dahl.

In the 2005 version of the story, though, we get a deeper look into Wonka’s sugar-free past and his estrangement from his father, a dentist who prohibited sweets. Wonka initially offers Charlie the factory, but it would mean leaving his family behind. After Charlie helps Wonka reconcile with his father, Wonka allows Charlie’s family to also live in the factory.

The Entrance Scene: The King of Willy Wonka Memes

While Wonka is mentioned early in the film, we don’t get to see him until much later. As the five Golden Ticket holders and their parents stand before the factory doors, the doors pull back to reveal a grand mechanical welcome, featuring music, colors, candy, and… well, a presentation that’s not as lit as one of the performers.

In the middle of the performance, a gold and red throne rises from the floor. It has a golden ‘W’ embroidered on the cushions, so we the audience and the characters can only assume that Wonka was supposed to be sitting on it to make a grand entrance. However, the chair remains empty throughout the performance. And with all the pyrotechnics that went down, perhaps that was a good idea on Wonka’s part.

It’s quickly revealed that Wonka was in their presence, standing at the end of the line of guests and watching the show as a spectator. He then stands in front of them, giving an awkward greeting – “Good morning, Starshine. The Earth says hello!” – which is met with silence and confusion. After a long and awkward pause, he decides to read from cue cards.

Awkward as it was, the line is a quotable quote from the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Depp’s awkward delivery of the cheery “Good morning, Starshine!” is a juxtaposition and such a mood, to be honest.

Where Did the  “Good morning, Starshine!” Line Come From?

So, what’s the fuss with “Good morning, Starshine?” Isn’t that just another iconic quote popularized by Willy Wonka? Should we be all concerned with a ‘measly’ line (that does not compare to ‘Star Wars’ and No, I am your father?”

Wonka’s iconic line’s origin makes it interesting. His “Good morning, Starshine!” greeting is actually the opening words to the 1969 pop song “Good Morning Starshine” by the singer Oliver.

You might have heard this song as well in the 1967 musical, Hair. It’s part of the second act of the musical and sung by the character Sheila. In the 1969 charts, it reached the #1 position in Canada, #2 in Ireland and New Zealand, and #3 in the United States.

Since then, the song was covered by notable artists and bands, including Andy Williams (1969), Bob McGrath (1969 – on the children’s show, Sesame Street), Diana Ross and The Supremes (1969), Anna-Lotta Larson (2004), and Serena Ryder (2006). The song and parts of it were even featured in pop culture, such as A Very Brady Sequel, The Simpsons, and Family Ties.

“Good Morning, Starshine” Lyrics

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh…

La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la

La la la la la la la la la la la lalalala…

Good mornin’ starshine, the earth says hello

You twinkle above us

We twinkle below

Good mornin’ starshine, you lead us along

My love and me as we sing

Our early mornin’ singin’ song

Glibby gloop gloopy Nibby Nabby Noopy La La La Lo Lo

Sabba Sibby Sabba NoobyabbaNabba Le Le Lo Lo

Toobyoobywallanoobyabbanabba

Early mornin’ singin’ song

Good mornin’ starshine

There’s love in your skies

Reflecting the sunlight

In my lover’s eyes

Good mornin’ starshine, so happy to be

My love and me as we sing

Our early mornin’ singin’ song

Glibby gloop gloopy Nibby Nabby Noopy La LaLa Lo Lo

Sabba sibbysabbanoobyabbanabba Le Le Lo Lo

ToobyoobywallaNoobyabbanabba

Early mornin’ singin’ song

(Musical interlude)

Can you hear me?

Singin’ a song, hummin’ a song, singin’ a song

Lovin’ a song, laughin’ a song, singin’ the song

Sing the song, song the sing

Song songsong sing, sing singsing song

Long long long ling, ling ling ling long

Sing sing a song sing a song

Yah, you can sing sing song sing a song

Sing sing a song, sing a song

Sing…

It Is the Perfect Willy Wonka Song 

If you look at these lyrics and hear the original song, you’ll see why it’s such a perfect greeting line for Willy Wonka. The chorus is filled with nonsensical words:

Glibby gloop gloopy Nibby Nabby Noopy La LaLa Lo Lo

Sabba sibbysabbanoobyabbanabba Le Le Lo Lo

ToobyoobywallaNoobyabbanabba

If you know the song when Wonka made the reference, you’ll understand why the song fits him perfectly. He’s eccentric and seems like the type to sing something like this with a straight face. And even if you don’t recognize the song, it still works. The line, “Good morning, Starshine. The Earth says hello!” is obviously a greeting. And while it’s a far cry from a simple “hello,” you can bet that Wonka isn’t going to go for something as a simple greeting.

The same applies to you. The basic greetings like “Hello” and “Hi” or even affectionate words like “I love you” can be too boring. If you’re feeling a little ‘loopy’ or just want another form of greeting, take a page out of Willy Wonka’s book. As for the song, sometimes, the best tunes are the ones that do not make sense. In fact, “Good morning, Starshine” is a perfect song to add to your road trip playlist. A light and tinkling tune, the song is the ideal song to bop your head to, smile and talk over to as you ponder over life. Haven’t heard of it? Go check it out on Spotify!

 

All in all, the song talks about the carefree spirit plenty of people have. And Wonka, based on his back story and love for chocolate and candy, shows this exact same spirit. So if you’re feeling a little carefree or weird today, greet the first person you meet with a jolly “Good morning, Starshine. The Earth says hello!”


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