Citizens of Sweethaven, please rise for our anthem…or pay 17¢ Not Rising For The Anthem Tax

Citizens of Sweethaven, please rise for our anthem…or pay 17¢ Not Rising For The Anthem Tax

The Commodore wishes all his citizens of his Sweethaven a glorious morning today.

Failure to have a glorious morning carries a 35¢ Unglorious Morning Tax.

Please stand for the Sweethaven anthem (press “play” or pay 15¢ Not Pressing Play Tax).

What’s that, you don’t know the words to the Sweethaven anthem?!

Well, here they are…and that’ll be 25¢, Not Knowing The Sweethaven Anthem Lyrics Tax.

Sweethaven lyrics by Harry Nilsson (yes,THE Harry Nilsson):

Sweet Sweethaven
God must love us
We the people
Love Sweethaven
Hurray hurray Sweethaven
Flags are wavin’
Swept people from the sea
Safe from democracy
Sweeter than a melon tree
Put here for you and me
Sweet Sweethaven
God must love us
We the people
Of Sweethaven
God must have landed here
Why else would he strand us here
Where the air is nice and clear
Sweethaven even sounds so near
To Heaven
God will always bless Sweethaven
God will always bless Sweethaven
God will always bless Sweethaven

I’m a big fan of the 1980 POPEYE feature film with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall.


When it first ran in theaters I saw it once and walked out a perplexed 12-year-old. It wasn’t until watching multiple viewings on cable TV that I developed an admiration for this wonderful film. It’s an amazing, multilayered visual experience with just as much, if not more, going on in the background of every shot than what’s occurring in the foreground. Director Robert Altman created a truly cartoon world within the confines that reality can allow and it’s a believable world perfect for being populated by the film’s over-the-top characters.

What made Sweethaven so believable is that the film was shot on location as opposed to studio sets. The town of Sweethaven was fully constructed for POPEYE on the island of Malta and is a tourist attraction to this day. Sweethaven ended up having 19 buildings, which included the hotel, the schoolhouse, various stores, a post office, a church, a tavern and a multitude of residences as well as the dockside buildings.


So, the next time you’re swinging by Malta why not stop off and pay a visit to Sweethaven.

That way, you can also pay that 25¢ tax you owe the Commodore.

If by some catastrophic chance of bad luck that you HAVEN’T seen the 1980 POPEYE movie (“Fooey on you!” ), it is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

Or purchase a DVD of POPEYE (1980) here- cheap!


Retroist Contributor & Ass't Editor I like to look back at our collectively-shared Pop Culture history and write about it, but mostly I try to buy it all back off eBay.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. The music and lyrics are fantastic. Actually, all the music is. Like you, I don’t think I thought much of the film when I first seen it, but as I watched it over and over through the years, I realize it is one of the best comics to films ever made. It truly was a “live action” cartoon.

    That town is still around?! That is fantastic!

  2. I had a feeling I would see a comment about this post from you Justin.

  3. Sounds like Justin might be Malta-bound soon?

  4. I saw the popeye movie in the theater, though it must have been a rerelease because it was somewhere around 1984~1988. I liked the visuals & setting of the movie, but was confused and disappointed by much of the story. As I’m certain that most of the viewers were, I was expecting the familiar popeye faire like all the countless cartoons that were on every TV station in the 80s. I was unaware at the time of popeye’s newspaper strip, which is what the movie was based on. Still, I did come out of the theater loving the movie. I even had the soundtrack on vinyl.

  5. Never got into this one, something about the decrepit state of the town was kinda depressing in a live action movie. In the comics (and the Universal Studios Orlando version), it’s a bit more cute.

  6. Of course I had to comment: Popeye the movie is awesome! Malta… that would be nice. I wanna try the slide that the tax collector slid down via a push from Popeye.

  7. Me and my 3 brother-in-laws took about 4 of our sons and nephews to see the movie in 1980.Me and brother in laws were raised on the Popeye cartoon, so when Robin takes off the raincoat we all stood and applauded and of course embarassed the sons and nephews.I DVR the movie and at least 3 times a week just put the opening on just to hear the song………SweetHaven…………

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