Que Sera Sera 🎶

On 27 March 1957 “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera Sera)” from the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Man Who Knew Too Much” wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here’s what she said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart, what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows
Day after day
Here’s what my sweetheart said

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome
Will I be rich
I tell them tenderly

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que sera, sera

This song points out, quite effectively, how we can’t predict the future.
Its three verses progress through the life of the singer from childhood, through young adulthood, to parenthood
She puts this question about the future to her mother, her partner and she is asked the same question by her children . Each time the chorus repeats the same answer: “What will be, will be.

Que Sera Sera” was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, authors of many songs for movies, and sung by Doris Day in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 remake of his 1934 thriller film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.
Hitchcock didn’t want Doris Day in his picture but MCA, the agency, told him that if he wanted Jimmy Stewart (this was his third Hitchcock film) he would also have to take Doris Day, Livingston and Evans. Therefore Hitchcock said that since Doris Day was a singer, they needed a song for her, with a foreign title because Jimmy Stewart. the protagonist, was a roving ambassador.


This became Doris Day’s biggest hit and her signature song, even if, at first, she didn’t like it because she regarded it as a children’s song. However, she went on to sing it in later films and TV appearances.
The song has been recorded dozens of times by dozens of singers and also in different languages, including Italian (by Carla Boni, Wilma De Angelis, Gloria Christian, Ricchi e Poveri).

The song popularized the expression “que sera, sera” as an English-language phrase indicating cheerful fatalism, though its use in English dates back to the 16th century, when it used as a heraldic motto by aristocratic families in Great Britain.
The saying is always in an English-speaking context, and despite suggesting so, it has no history in Spain or Italy, where it is inexact.

Composer Jay Livingston had seen it in the 1954 movie “The Barefoot Contessa”, where the family motto of the character played by Rossano Brazzi is “Che sarà sarà”.
He immediately thought that might be a possible song title, and when he and lyricist Ray Evans used it, they gave it a Spanish spelling because many people spoke Spanish in the US.


Translation: Quel Che Sarà, Sarà

Quand’ero solo una bambina
chiesi a mia madre che cosa sarò
sarò bella,
sarò ricca?
Ecco cosa mi disse:

Quel che sarà, sarà
Quel che sarà, sarà
non sta a noi vedere nel futuro
Quel che sarà, sarà
Quel che sarà, sarà

Quando crebbi e m’innamorai
Chiesi al mio amore cosa ci aspetta più avanti
avremo arcobaleni (cioè saremo felici)
giorno dopo giorno?
Ecco cosa mi disse il mio amore:

Quel che sarà, sarà
Quel che sarà, sarà
non sta a noi vedere nel futuro
Quel che sarà, sarà
Quel che sarà, sarà

Ora ho dei figli
che chiedono alla loro madre, cosa sarò
sarò bello,
sarò ricco?
Io dico loro teneramente:

Quel che sarà, sarà
Quel che sarà, sarà
non sta a noi vedere nel futuro
Quel che sarà, sarà
Quel che sarà, sarà


Italian version: CHE SERÀ SERÀ


Quand’ero bimba ingenua ancor
Chiesi alla mamma:
“Che mai farò?
Quando più grande diventerò”
Lei mi rispose allor:
“Che serà, serà, e ciò che succederà,
Nessuno saper potrà,
Che serà, serà
E nessun lo sa”

Un giorno al fin mi innamorai
Ed al mio amore,
Io domandai:
“Saran felici i nostri cuor?”
Lui mi rispose allor:

“Che serà, serà
E ciò che succederà,
Nessuno saper potrà,
Che serà, serà,
E nessun lo sa”

Oggi il mio bimbo, che tesor,
Mi chiede sempre:
“Cosa farò
Quando più grande diventerò”
Rispondo allor:

“Non so”
Che serà, serà
Eciò che succederà,
Nessuno saper potrà
che serà, serà
E nessun lo sa
Che serà
Serà

81 thoughts on “Que Sera Sera 🎶

  1. Grazie, Luisa. Quanti bei ricordi, anche se allora non ero consapevole del significato dei versi della canzone. La ritenevo soltanto una musica allegra e spensierata, e così l’ho ricordata sino a quando non ho letto questo tuo articolo. Hai dato una luce nuova ai miei ricordi, come se il significato della canzone giacesse ignorato. L’ho letto con molto piacere e interesse. Grazie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like this song…I met some of my students two decades later and asked them how are they doing. They would say… Like the song you used to make us sing… “Qué Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be!” Thank you Luisa, for reminding me of this lovely song again!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. IN THE 1950s GENE , MY HUSBAND WORKED IN MUSIC WITH DORIS DAY, VERY GIFTED AND SWEET LADY BUT TOOK ALOT OF ABUSE FROM THE MEN IN HER LIFE PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY AN FINANCIALLY . MY AUNT BERTHA USED TO SING THAT SONG TO ME ALOT THANKS FOR THE MEMORY SM

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you Luisa for your beautiful and interesting post. I do love the song to and thank you for posting the link. Doris Day was one beautiful woman and gifted singer. The message of this seemingly simple song
    is so very true. 🎶🌷.

    Miriam

    Like

  4. A song that shakes the nostalgia of a time that passed very quickly but left traces of good times. Remembering is living and thanks to you we live again.
    Hello Luisa. After a very long vacation, I return to enjoy your magnificent blog.
    Good weekend and I’ll see “what will be” later.
    Manuel Angel

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved the song, especially the words, and I loved Doris Day; but apart from knowing it was in the film, I knew nothing else of its background. I’d always assumed that it was an Italian phrase, but now thanks to another fabulous post know a lot more than I did. Thanks Luisa 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A great song from a great film.

    A little tidbit from the movie:

    “Day’s passion for animals is well-documented; she even created the nonprofit Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978. So when she encountered several emaciated goats, horses, and dogs on set in Marrakesh, she threw around her star power. She refused to shoot any scenes until the animals received some care from the production company. The crew subsequently set up a feeding station, and once Day was content with the results, she went back to work.”

    Taken from:

    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/80842/11-frantic-facts-about-man-who-knew-too-much

    Liked by 1 person

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