La Mer (song)

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For English-language song using the music of "La Mer", see Beyond the Sea (song)
"La Mer"
Single by Charles Trenet
Released 1946
Writer(s) Charles Trenet
Charles Trenet singles chronology
"La Mer"
Music video
"La Mer" on YouTube

"La Mer" is a song written by French composer, lyricist, singer and showman Charles Trenet (1913–2001).

It was not until 1946 that Trenet recorded the song. When it was released in 1946, it became an unexpected hit, and has remained a chanson classic ever since.


The song has been subject to many interpretations in French and in many languages.

Roger Williams recorded it as "La Mer (Beyond the Sea)" in 1956. In the 1960s, a cover was done by Cliff Richard with The Shadows. Dalida and Will Ferdy did covers both in 1976 and Daniel Guichard in 1983 and Graham Dalby and The Grahamophones recorded the song on the album Transatlantique in 1993. More recent versions include Kevin Kline (film, "French Kiss"-1995), Kristina & Laura, Manlio Sgalambro, Lisa del Bo, Biréli Lagrène, Patricia Kaas, Lola Dutronic, and others.

Instrumental versions were done by Ray Conniff His Orchestra and Chorus, Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat, Richard Clayderman.

Language versions[edit]

"Beyond the Sea"[edit]

English lyrics, unrelated to the French lyrics, were later written by Jack Lawrence and entitled "Beyond the Sea".

The English version has been recorded by many artists, including Benny Goodman, Mantovani, Roger Williams and Gisele MacKenzie, but Bobby Darin's version released in 1959 is the best known by many, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached the top 40 twice prior to the Darin version (Goodman's version in 1948, Williams's in 1955).

More recent versions include covers by Lawrence Welk, Martin Denny, Bent Thalmay, Dick Jordan, Helen Shapiro, Johnny Mathis, We Five, The Sandpipers, Sacha Distel, George Benson, Bobby Caldwell, Carol Welsman, Eric Comstock, Gene Nery, Robbie Williams, Barry Manilow, Rod Stewart and Miguel Bosé.

"Il Mare"[edit]

An Italian version with lyrics by Pasquale Panella and made famous by Sergio Cammariere

"De zee"[edit]

In 1970, it was covered in Dutch by Lize Marke with lyrics by Johnny Steggerda, Jack Bess.

In 2008, it was covered in Dutch but with new lyrics Herman Pieter de Boer rather than the 1970 lyrics. It was performed as a jazz tune by Rob de Nijs.

Appearances in other media[edit]

IMDb lists twenty-five instances where either "La Mer" or "Beyond the Sea" have been used in various media, including:



Other media[edit]

  • The song was featured in a film that was shot by Fabien Baron during the photo sessions for Madonna's Sex book.
  • In the video game Suikoden IV, the opening animated sequence uses an arrangement of the song performed by Yasuhiro Kobayashi ("Coba").
  • In the videogame BioShock and its sequel BioShock 2, the song is used throughout the game on jukeboxes and loud hailers. The song can only be heard in the special edition of BioShock 2.
  • The song is used anachronistically in episode of "Foyle's War" titled "The French Drop".
  • The song was featured on a Scott Hicks commercial for South Australia's wine industry called "200 Cellar Doors".[2]
  • Charles Trénet's recording of 'La Mer' is choreographed in Matthew Bourne's 1989 ballet suite, "Infernal Galop", "a French dance with English subtitles", in which a merman seduces three matelots.


  1. ^ LAINE, T. (2010), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly as an Emotional Event. Midwest Studies In Philosophy, 34: 295–305.
  2. ^ "South Australia – Cellar Door TV Commercial". Retrieved 25 March 2010

External links[edit]