Rocky_LEAD

The Italian Stallion came to life on this day in 1976, as Sylvester Stallone began filming his first feature film, Rocky. Inspired by a supposed chump no-namer, club fighter Chuck Wepner, who went 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali in the spring of ’75, Stalone glitzed it Hollywood with homely love interest Adrian – “Adrian!” – and hard-ass trainin’ Mickey – “women weaken legs!” – and the rest is 10 oscar nom history. But none of this would be so glorious without “Gonna Fly Now,” the training-montage commissioned centerpiece that follows Balboa through the streets of Philadelphia, horns ablast as he climbs the Museum of Art and raises his arms in sweet personal victory. There are 30 words in this song. And together, they allow a listener to conquer anything, from boxing ring to dishes. You cannot fail:

Trying hard now
It’s so hard now
Trying hard now

Getting strong now
Won’t be long now
Getting strong now

Gonna fly now
Flying high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly