It costs nothing, but gives much. You are
enriched when both receiving it and offering
it to someone else. It takes only a moment,
but its memory can last a lifetime.

None is so rich or mighty that
he can get along without it,
and none is so poor that he
cannot be made richer by it.

It brings happiness to the home,
promotes good will in business
and is the cornerstone of friendship.

It perks up the weary, brings cheer
to the discouraged, sunshine to the
sad and is nature's best antidote
for trouble.

It is so valuable, and yet it cannot
be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen,
for it is worthless until it is given away.

If you see someone without one of their own,
then send them one of yours: for no one needs
a smile so much as he who has none to give.


From memory, original author unknown.

Smile is the title of possibly the most famous unreleased album in rock history. The album in question, recorded in 1966-67, was intended to be the Beach Boys' follow up to Pet Sounds, but for a variety of reasons was never released.

Some people have tried to lay the blame for this on Mike Love, the band's lead singer, but while it is true he was less than enthused by the music the band were making, it is probably more likely that the real explanation is Brian Wilson's - 'it was inappropriate music for us to be making'.

The album seems to have floundered because of Wilson's mental illness and drug abuse, along with there being too many factions trying to tell him what to write, and legal problems with the band's record label - a scenario that would be all too familliar in coming decades.

The vast majority of the music is in fact nowhere near as good as the legend would have it - most of it is just jamming on two chords. However, a few tracks that were fully written, with lyricist Van Dyke Parks rank with some of the best songs ever written.

The tracklist for a typical bootleg (Sea Of Tunes vol 16) of this album is:

  1. Prayer
  2. Heroes And Villains
  3. Barnyard
  4. Do You Like Worms
  5. The Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine
  6. He Gives Speeches
  7. Wonderful
  8. Child Is Father Of The Man
  9. CabinEssence
  10. Look
  11. Good Vibrations
  12. Vegetables
  13. Wind Chimes
  14. Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (aka Fire)
  15. I Love To Say Da Da
  16. Well, You're Welcome
  17. Surf's Up

Most of these tracks have in fact seen legitimate release in one form or another:

Smiley Smile, the Beach Boys' next official release, featured Good Vibrations along with partially or wholly re-recorded versions of Heroes And Villains, He Gives Speeches (with new lyrics by Mike Love, retitled She's Going Bald), Wonderful, Vegetables and Wind Chimes.

Well, You're Welcome was released as the B-side to the single version of Heroes And Villains.

Partially rerecorded versions of Prayer (retitled Our Prayer) and Cabinessence were issued on the 20/20 album.

A rerecorded version of I Love To Say Da Da, with new lyrics by Mike Love, retitled Cool, Cool Water was issued on Sunflower.

A partially rerecorded version of Surf's Up (incorporating part of Child Is Father Of The Man) was issued on Surf's Up

Smile era versions of Prayer, H&V, Worms, Wonderful, CabinEssence, Vegetables, Wind Chimes, part of Fire, DaDa and Surf's Up were issued on the box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys.

A demo of Heroes And Villains by Brian Wilson, incorporating parts of Barnyard and another song I'm In Great Shape was issued on the Endless Harmony compilation.

On those tracks that were completed, the Beach Boys for this album consisted of Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston.

Brian Wilson toured a suite based on this album in 2004. See Smile 2004 for my thoughts on that work.

Smiling probably has an evolutionary basis in the way that primates show submission. When Chimpanzees and Bonobos wish to show threat, they expose their teeth with the lips curled up and teeth apart, ready to bite. However, when they are being submissive or playful the teeth stay together and the lips are partially opened, the primate form of a smile. While the reasons people smile today aren't nearly so clear cut, this still points to the smile's function in social relationships.

There is a difference -- both physiological and psychological -- between a smile of true happiness and a faked social smile. A real smile (also known as a Duchenne smile after the man who discovered it) is a strong contraction of the zygomaticus muscles, which pull the corners of the mouth upwards. It usually also involves the orbicularis oculi muscles surrounding the eye, which cause visible crows-feet at the eye's edges. When early neurologist Guillaume Duchenne discovered this difference in 1862, he remarked that it's lack "unmasks the false friend." In comparison, faking a smile requires activation of mostly the face's risorius muscles, which pull the lips horizontally apart. The zygomaticus muscles are only used a little bit, to pull the corners of the mouth up slightly.

Interestingly, the pathway between emotional state and facial expression appears to go both ways. In a recent study, a non-verbal communication psychologist named Paul Ekman has discovered that forcing a zygomatic smile after one has learned how to do so causes activity in the left pre-frontal cortex, which is the home of the "pleasure center" (see also Emotion and regional brain activity). This relationship may be the reason that telemarketers are told to smile because it can be "heard" over the phone -- when the telemarketer smiles, his/her brain is activated in a perceptibly more pleasant way.

From a developmental standpoint, the hardware used to smile (and frown, for that matter) develops fairly early. The nerves and muscles that control our mouth develop from the first pharyngeal arch, and the ones controlling our eyelids and brow from the second. Upon unpleasant stimuli -- bitter taste, sharp pain -- these muscles constrict, forming the squint-eyed, wrinkle-nosed, frowning, "yuck face." Pleasant stimuli do just the opposite, relaxing the muscles and thus dilating all of the facial openings, giving a wide-eyed, happy smile. These involuntary expressions can be traced back to our ancestors the fish, which closed gills and eyes when presented with noxious stimuli, and opened them while exploring something that might be food. Babies begin to smile in response to faces and other social stimuli at between eight and twelve weeks. By five months, an observer can differentiate between Duchenne smiles for the infant's parents and "faked" smiles for strangers.

Smiling at Strangers

Everyone enjoys compliments. Ususally one receives compliments as a reward for good work or other factors that promote one's visibility to others. Compliments most usually come from friends, acquaintances or those with some form of professional relationship. There are, of course, varying degrees of compliments, ranging from a fairly casual "I think what you've done is nice" to "Quite frankly, I have never seen anyone quite as amazing as you."

The modern, get-back-to-business-and-stop-wasting-time society lacks warm interaction between people. Affectionate compliments and interaction is reserved to occur between friends and family, and professional compliments are handed out in the workplace like formal letters of acknowledgement. It could be argued that this leads to the estrangement of people, where people withdraw to themselves when not in obvious company of potential compliment givers. This, in turn, leads to an unfriendly everyday existence.

It doesn't have to be that way.

There are countless reasons to compliment another person, even in broad daylight. No one is ever going to scorn you for giving an honest compliment. But how to do it without appearing "creepy" or "sick"? (Indeed, this attitude toward strangers is born out of our competitive, unfriendly society, where each has their own agenda) It is really quite simple. The only thing to do is smile. An honest look into someone's eyes and an encouraging smile will raise spirits in both parties. It is quite possible that the receiver of a smile will feel wholly better about themselves and perhaps cast off a worry for a while.

Stop and think. If another person would come, out of the blue when you're not doing much else, and say that you look good in your hat or that that sketch you've been doodling looks really good, what would it make you feel like? I personally might take it in two different ways, depending on how I'm feeling.
Case 1: I'm feeling great, heading over to a party, quite excited about coming events. Someone compliments my hat. I'd still get a little confused, but would stammer out a "Thanks, I like my hat too", smile and continue.
Case 2: I'm not feeling so great. It hasn't been a great day and I've still got a ton of stuff to do. I sit doodling something, and someone who walks by says they like it. "What business do they have looking at my stuff? "What do they really want from me?" That's what I would think, but I would probably say something positive to get them to walk away.

So, a full frontal verbal compliment might be intrusive. It might not, and some people would definitely enjoy a stranger saying positive things about them. To stay on the safe side, the smile option might be the best bet. It's not as obvious as saying something out loud, and will probably only be noticed if the target keeps his or her eyes open. Thus, the compliment probably would not interrupt anything important they may be doing.

Why would one compliment another in an everyday situation? The most obvious answer is looks. While certain faces are appealing to most people, each viewer has individual tastes. Thus, if a special-looking person happens to cross your path, why not signal them that their being produced a positive response in you? As stated previously, a positive signal from another human being can improve one's self image. Thus, if they are feeling good, they are more likely to then pass that positive feeling to another person.

The big issue with smiling at strangers is how to initiate it. One can't go around lock-jawed smiling at everyone, and since a smile can have a profound impact on someone it should be a clear enough signal. One of the best places to smile at a stranger is where there are sufficient numbers of people staying relatively still. Public transport is a possible candidate, as are cafés and places like bus stops. If a possible target is found, follow these steps.

Step One: Initiate eye contact
This is critical. A person will not notice that you are targeting them unless they see you do it. In previously mentioned public transport peoples' eyes tend to wander around, and if they see another pair of eyes, they will stop. Of course, one should not stare - this will turn away most people. It is critical to proceed from this step to the next immediately when eye contact is estabilished.
Step Two: Make the decision
You have sighted a person who looks interesting. Maybe he or she is pretty, maybe they're wearing something that appeals to you. Perhaps they look familiar? There is a hint of that teenage anxiety, of that "should I or shouldn't I" feeling at this point. Will they notice? What will they think? The only person who can decide whether you want to proceed beyond this point is you. Welling up a bit of courage and maybe some dumb positive radiance, you can proceed to the next step. Otherwise just move your eyes away.
Step Three: Go ahead and flash a smile
Don't be self-conscious. Everyone can smile, and everyone looks good with one plastered on their face if it's natural. One can't force a smile: If one comes, it comes and looks natural. I personally am self-conscious about the coloration of my teeth, but what matters with smiling at strangers is the fact that you actually smile. I personally am surprised when people smile at me, and would venture to guess that most other people feel it too. One doesn't look at another person's teeth at a moment of positive surprise.
Step Four: Don't overdo it. See the reaction
It's important to smile as long at it takes for the person to notice. There will always be some sort of reaction, ranging from a real smile back to you through a contraction of the pupils (not very visible, I know) all the way to a frown and a movement of the head away from you.

What will happen from this point onward can not be described in a work with this scope. It all depends on the parties involved. In the overwhelming majority of smiles that do indeed reach their target will probably promote a positive reaction. It may not be visible to you, but they will feel it. However, it is possible that this simple act of smiling at a stranger will spark conversation or even more. There's no telling until you try.

A rock band from 1968-1970. Predecessor to the world-famous band known as Queen.

Before there was Queen, there was Smile. In 1968, Tim Staffell and Brian May were attending Imperial College and decided to form a band. Roger Taylor answered the call. The band signed a deal with Mercury Records in 1969 and released an E.P. containing the songs Earth, Step On Me, April Lady, Blag, and Polar Bear. Earth became their first and only single.

Smile's sound could be characterized as dreamy and clumsy. For better or worse, this effect was intensified by the horrible recording quality on their tracks. The distinct sound of Brian May's homemade "Red Special" guitar is clearly evident on these tracks (particularly on Earth), but the talents of Taylor and Staffell are far less distinct at this stage. Even the bizarre subject matter of Earth, a homesick man in a space-age universe, exiled from his home planet, didn't seem to be enough to bring the band any worthwhile recognition.

The album was neither well publicized nor widely released and the band began to feel that their record company had given them a bad deal. They tried to get out of their contract but found that the only legal way to do so was to change the band. Frusterated and angry, Staffell decided to take one for the team and resigned as lead singer and bass guitarist, liberating the rest of the band from their agreement.

Tim Staffell was soon replaced by his flamboyant flatmate, Freddie Bulsara, who the world now knows as Freddie Mercury (no relation to the record company). Freddie had served as the band's unofficial manager from the start. The band was soon renamed as Larry Lurex and, later, Queen. John Deacon signed on as bass-guitarist in 1971. Their first album, Queen, was released n 1973.


The band

Tim Staffell: lead vocals, bass guitar
Brian May: Lead guitar, backing vocals
Roger Taylor: drums, backing vocals

* I have not been able to determine the writing credits, since no copies of the released version of the E.P. are still known to exist.

Smile is also a musical based on the 1975 film of the same name. The musical (and the film for that matter) is about a beauty pageant for young women, entitled the "Young American Miss Pageant" and the hypocrisy and underhanded dealings that go with it. The film was moderately popular, but the musical was not.


A musical based on the screenplay by Jerry Belson
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Produced by Lawrence Gordon, Richard Kagan and Sidney Shlenker
Directed by Howard Ashman

Smile opened on November 24, 1996 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway and ran for 48 performances.

Anecdote: A cast recording was made, but is not commercially available.

Smile (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Smiled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Smiling.] [OE. smilen; akin to Dan. smile, Sw. smila, MHG. smielen, smieren, L. mirari to wonder at, Skr. smi to smile; and probably to E. smicker. &root;173. Cf. Admire, Marvel, Smirk.]


To express amusement, pleasure, moderate joy, or love and kindness, by the features of the face; to laugh silently.

He doth nothing but frown . . . He hears merry tales and smiles not. Shak.

She smiled to see the doughty hero slain. Pope.

When last I saw thy young blue eyes, they smiled. Byron.


To express slight contempt by a look implying sarcasm or pity; to sneer.

'T was what I said to Craggs and Child, Who praised my modesty, and smiled. Pope.


To look gay and joyous; to have an appearance suited to excite joy; as, smiling spring; smiling plenty.

The desert smiled, And paradise was opened in the wild. Pope.


To be propitious or favorable; to favor; to countenance; -- often with on; as, to smile on one's labors.


© Webster 1913.

Smile, v. t.


To express by a smile; as, to smile consent; to smile a welcome to visitors.


To affect in a certain way with a smile.


And sharply smile prevailing folly dead. Young.


© Webster 1913.

Smile, n. [CF. Dan. smiil, Sw. smil. See Smile, v. i.]


The act of smiling; a peculiar change or brightening of the face, which expresses pleasure, moderate joy, mirth, approbation, or kindness; -- opposed to frown.

Sweet intercourse Of looks and smiles: for smiles from reason flow. Milton.


A somewhat similar expression of countenance, indicative of satisfaction combined with malevolent feelings, as contempt, scorn, etc; as, a scornful smile.


Favor; countenance; propitiousness; as, the smiles of Providence.

"The smile of heaven."



Gay or joyous appearance; as, the smiles of spring.

The brightness of their [the flowers'] smile was gone. Bryant.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.