“Tomorrow“ is a song from the musical Annie….with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin….which was published in 1977….as the number was originally written as “The Way We Live Now” for the 1970 short film Replay, with both music and lyrics by Strouse. The song was originally written for a musical production of Daniel Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon…..but the switch was made because Annie“was having problems during its out-of-town engagement in Washington D.C.”
The song has always been prominently featured in productions of the musical throughout its history…. with several variations of the song being performed in the original 1977 Broadway production….which included it being the show’s finale. Its lyrics are repeated as a personal motto by the character of Annie in Thomas Meehan’s 1980 novel by the same name…..and it was the entry and concluding credits score for the 1982 film adaptation….with an a capella version of the song having been performed by Aileen Quinn as Annie during the scene at the White House….where Annie and Daddy Warbucks meet Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The song pronounces an optimistic view of life through its main themes and the phrases ‘hang on until tomorrow’ and ‘when I’m stuck with a day that’s gray and lonely, I just stick out my chin and grin’….which appears to be in unison with another song in the score, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”….as it also pronounces the importance of smiling, though in a much lighter and cheerful tone.
The lyrics were likely influenced by the song “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”….which was written by the Sherman Brothers for Disney’s Carousel of Progress attraction for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. They have very similar themes….which stress the importance of looking forward optimistically to a shining future….and in some places use almost identical lyrical phrases…as compared by “just a dream away” and “only a day away” for example.
This rendition of Tomorrow by Andrea McArdle provides background music and messages to some wonderful MLB World Series highlights…..which definitely remind us over and over again that “tomorrow is only a dream away.”