About the song
If you love classic pop songs with a touch of swing, you might be familiar with Bobby Darin’s hit “Beyond the Sea”. This song, which was released in 1959, is one of Darin’s most popular and enduring songs, and has been covered by many artists over the years. But do you know the story behind this song? How did it come to be, and what does it mean? In this blog post, we will explore the origins, history and meaning of “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin.
The song “Beyond the Sea” is actually an English adaptation of a French song called “La Mer”, which was written and composed by Charles Trenet in 1943. Trenet was a famous French singer and songwriter, who was known for his poetic and whimsical style. He wrote “La Mer” as a tribute to the sea, which he loved since his childhood. The lyrics describe the beauty and mystery of the sea, using vivid imagery and metaphors. The song became a huge success in France and around the world, and has been recorded by many artists, such as Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf, Julio Iglesias and Andrea Bocelli.
The English version of “La Mer” was created by Jack Lawrence, an American songwriter who had written hits for Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. Lawrence heard Trenet’s song on the radio in 1946, and decided to write new lyrics for it. However, he did not translate the original French lyrics, but instead wrote a completely different set of words that turned the song into a love song. Lawrence’s lyrics tell the story of a man who is longing for his lover who is far away, beyond the sea. He expresses his hope that they will be reunited someday, and that their love will last forever.
Lawrence’s version of “La Mer” was first recorded by Harry James and His Orchestra in 1947, but it did not become a hit until Bobby Darin recorded it in 1959. Darin was a young and talented singer who had started his career as a rock and roll performer, but later switched to more sophisticated pop and jazz styles. He had already scored a number one hit with his version of “Mack the Knife”, another song that he adapted from a foreign language original. Darin heard Lawrence’s version of “La Mer” on a jukebox in 1958, and decided to record it for his album “That’s All”. He changed the title to “Beyond the Sea”, and added his own flair to the song. He sang it with a powerful and expressive voice, and arranged it with a big band sound that featured horns, strings and percussion. He also added some scat singing and improvised some lyrics at the end of the song.
Darin’s version of “Beyond the Sea” was released as a single in late 1959, and became an instant hit. It reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, number seven in Canada, and number eight in the UK. It also earned Darin two Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Vocal Performance. The song became one of Darin’s signature songs, and he performed it many times throughout his career. He even played several instruments during some of his live performances of the song, such as harmonica, piano and guitar.
The song “Beyond the Sea” has been featured in many movies, TV shows and commercials over the years. Some of the most notable examples are:
– The movie “Goodfellas” (1990), where it plays during Henry Hill’s wedding scene.
– The movie “Finding Nemo” (2003), where it plays during the end credits. It was sung by Robbie Williams for this movie.
– The movie “Beyond the Sea” (2004), where it plays several times throughout the film. It is a biographical film about Bobby Darin’s life and career, starring Kevin Spacey as Darin.
– The TV show “Lost” (2004-2010), where it plays during Charlie Pace’s flashback scene in season two.
– The TV show “The X-Files” (1993-2018), where it plays during Fox Mulder’s dream sequence in season eleven.
The meaning behind “Beyond the Sea” is often interpreted as a reflection on the deep and unbreakable bond between two individuals. The lyrics express the yearning for a loved one who is physically distant, emphasizing the power of love to transcend all obstacles. The song also conveys a sense of optimism and faith in the future, as well as a celebration of life and joy.
“Beyond the Sea” is a timeless song that has captivated generations of listeners with its catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics. It is a song that showcases Bobby Darin’s versatility and charisma, and a song that honors Charles Trenet’s original masterpiece. It is a song that will always remind us of the beauty and wonder of the sea, and the love that lies beyond it.