Beyond the Sea – recorded by Bobby Darin in 1959
I have played this song my entire life because I was in LOVE with Bobby Darin! – and had no idea that it was such a FAMOUS FRENCH song!!! I was playing at a French Exhibitionist Art show at the Houston Museum of Art – and just launched into La Mer – and WOW – I started drawing a crowd – and they actually started SINGING in French!!
Then – I did my research – During the German Occupation of France during WWII, for many French people – La Mer became an unofficial symbol of hope for liberation. It was hard to censor, since it was simply a love song, when the Marseillaise was banned, “Somewhere Over the Sea” carried a message to many.
- Listen – Bobby Darin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VuXdnUb5u0
- Listen – Composer – Charles Trenet sings – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fztkUuunI7g
- Listen – Kevin Spacey – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoHz14G0u3Q
I fought the tendency to ADD Latin Style Basses – which I tend to do when I perform this song – I listened to the original and wrote the basses like what I heard! It has a BIG BAND SWING Style!!!
About the Song:
“Beyond the Sea” is a 1946 contemporary pop romantic love song by Jack Lawrence, with music taken from the song “La Mer” by Charles Trenet.
Trenet had composed “La Mer” (which means “the Sea”) with French lyrics completely different and unrelated to the English-language version that Lawrence later wrote. Trenet’s French version was a homage and ode to the changing moods of the sea, while Lawrence, by just adding one word “Beyond” to the title, gave him the start whereby he made the song into one of a dear lover mourning for a lost love.
It has been recorded by many artists, but Bobby Darin’s version released in 1959 is the best known by many, reaching no. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, no. 15 on the US R&B Chart, and no. 8 in the UK Singles Chart.
Prior to Bobby Darin, two recordings reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Benny Goodman’s version charted in 1948, and was featured in the Cary Grant/Betsy Drake romantic comedy Every Girl Should Be Married. Roger Williams’ recording reached no. 37 in 1955.
Robbie Williams released a version of the song on his album Swing When You’re Winning in 2001, which was used in the ending credits for the 2003 Disney Pixar film Finding Nemo.