Beyond the Sea (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 lamenting 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.

Before Bobby Darin’s, 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.

Deana Martin recorded Beyond the Sea in 2013. The song was released on her album, Destination Moon, in 2013 by Big Fish Records.

American R&B singer George Benson recorded an R&B version of the song under the title “Beyond The Sea (La Mer).” It was released on Warner Bros. This version entered the UK Singles Chart on 20 April 1985. It reached a peak position of no. 60 and remained on the chart for three weeks.

Above:  Cover of musical score published in France in 1946.

Cover versions

Django Reinhardt
Gisele MacKenzie
James Melton (1952)
Kevin Spacey
Ray Conniff (1962)
Helen Shapiro on her album A Teenager in Love (1963)
The Sandpipers (on the album Guantanamera as “La Mer (Beyond the Sea)”, 1965)
George Benson (1984)
We Five released a version in 1965 as the B-side of the no. 1 hit “You Were on My Mind”.
Royal Crown Revue released a cover in 1998 on the Mugsy’s Move album.
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 animated film Finding Nemo.
Will Young winner of Pop Idol performed the song in the semi-final in 2002. Young also recorded the song for the Pop Idol: The Big Band Album featuring The Big Blue.
Westlife released a version of the song as a digital download release in the UK in 2004.
Barry Manilow released a version on his 2006 album, The Greatest Songs of the Fifties.
Beegie Adair released a version on her 2009 album, Parisian Cafe with David Davidson, violin.
Rod Stewart released a version on his 2010 album, Fly Me to the Moon… The Great American Songbook Volume V.
Celtic Woman released a version on two of their albums, A New Journey and The Greatest Journey: Essential Collection.
Kathryn Williams sang it as the title song for the BBC television series The Café, first screened on Sky 1 in 2011.
Damian McGinty sang his version on the final episode of The Glee Project in August 2011, thus winning a 17 episode arc on the television show Glee.
Jeff Lynne recorded a version for his solo album Long Wave in 2012.
Bobby Caldwell
Pablo Bubar reintroduced “Beyond the Sea” in one of the musical romance sketches of “Pablo the Romantic” from Boom Town, broadcast by BBC Three (UK, 2013). This version included the piano music of Ross Leadbeater.
Deana Martin recorded “Beyond the Sea” on her 2013 album Destination Moon.
Matt Belsante released a version on his 2008 album Blame It on My Youth.
Bing Crosby
Harry James – Columbia 38134 (1948)
Vov Dylan and The Palace Orchestra in the album So In Love released 2016
Vov Dylan and Enzo Toppano from the album Cafe Classics released 2016 (note this is a different recording from the version found in “So In Love”)
In popular culture[edit]