The Story Behind 'Smile,' The Charlie Chaplin Song From Michael Jackson's Memorial

One of the more stirring moments of the Michael Jackson memorial celebration was Jermaine Jackson's performance of "Smile," a pop song made famous in the Charlie Chaplin film "Modern Times." The tune was one of Michael's favorite songs, and he recorded a version of it on his 1995 album HIStory.

The song was originally written as an instrumental by Chaplin himself in 1936, but two lyricists named John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics to it, giving it the sense of melancholy and optimism that infuses the track. Jackson isn't the only fan of the song, as it has been covered by an eclectic batch of performers including Elvis Costello, Michael Bolton, Nat King Cole, Michael Bublé, Barbara Streisand and Josh Groban.

Jackson's version of "Smile" was the final track on HIStory and was recorded as an epic ballad (Jermaine's version most resembles his brother's take). It concludes with the lyric "That's the time you must keep on trying/ Smile, what's the use of crying?/ You find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile." It's a simple, optimistic message with a bright, soaring vocal — it's no mystery why the King of Pop loved it so much.