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Kelly Clarkson's Mesmerizing Version of Nat King Cole's "Smile" Will Soothe Your Soul

Clarkson covered the classic jazz standard as a Kellyoke segment. 

By Jackie Manno

Kelly Clarkson did a classic jazz standard justice during a recent Kellyoke. 

How to Watch

Check your local listings for The Kelly Clarkson Show.

On November 2, Clarkson sang a gorgeous rendition of the beloved tune "Smile" by Nat King Cole while on The Kelly Clarkson Show. During her performance, gentle piano notes and downtempo drums played soothingly. She then crooned the hopeful lyrics in a relaxing tone that will make you feel warm and cozy. 

RELATED: Kelly Clarkson Covered Madonna's "Like a Prayer"

What to know about "Smile" by Nat King Cole

"Smile" was originally the theme song for Charlie Chaplin's 1936 film Modern Times, and was composed by Chaplin himself, with the lyrics written by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons. 

“I tried to compose elegant and romantic music to frame my comedies in contrast to the tramp character, for elegant music gave my comedies an emotional dimension,” Chaplin said of his songwriting process in his autobiography (per American Songwriter).

Now considered a classic jazz standard, Nat King Cole's popular version reached the number 10 position on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1954. The song has also been covered by Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Michael Buble, Michael Bolton, Elvis Costello, Josh Groban, and more. The inspiring lyrics tell listeners to keep a positive attitude even during times of pain and sorrow. 

American Songwriter ranked "Smile" as the fifth best Nat King Cole song in 2023. "Cole could uplift even the saddest soul with the way he sings “Smile.” His voice is simply stunning, shining alongside lyrics that encourage you to find hope even if your heart is breaking or light up your face with gladness to dissipate the sorrow," the outlet wrote. "It’s easily one of his most memorable and beloved [songs]."

RELATED: Kelly Clarkson Sings Billie Eilish's "Happier Than Ever"

The lyrics to "Smile" by Nat King Cole

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile