Someone to Watch Over Me (song)
|"Someone to Watch Over Me"|
"Someone to Watch Over Me" is a song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin from the musical Oh, Kay! (1926), where it was introduced by Gertrude Lawrence. Gershwin originally approached the song as an uptempo jazz tune, but his brother Ira suggested that it might work much better as a ballad, and George ultimately agreed. It has been performed by numerous artists since its debut and is a jazz standard as well as a key work in the Great American Songbook.
Recorded versions 
In chronological order:
- Gertrude Lawrence - rec. October 29, 1926 - released as Victor 20331, matrix 36654-3
- George Gershwin - rec. November 12, 1926 - released as Columbia 812-D, matrix W 142925-3
- Hamilton Sisters and Fordyce (Three X Sisters) - rec. 1927, England
- Gertrude Lawrence - rec. October 25, 1927 - released as Columbia 4618, matrix WA 6326
- Lee Wiley - rec. November 15, 1939 - with Fats Waller on pipe organ, from Lee Wiley Sings The Songs Of George And Ira Gershwin
- Margaret Whiting - A Time To Remember - 1944 (1944)
- Lee Wiley - rec. December 14, 1944 - released as Decca 23422, matrix 72630
- Frank Sinatra - The Voice of Frank Sinatra (1946); Young at Heart (1954); Live at the Meadowlands (1986/2009)
- Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Sings Gershwin (1950); Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook (1959); Nice Work If You Can Get It (1983)
- Chet Baker - Grey December (1953)
- Art Tatum - 20th century Piano Genius (recorded 1955)
- Joni James - In the Still of the Night (1956)
- Ray Conniff - Marvelous (1957)
- Sarah Vaughan - Sarah Vaughan Sings George Gershwin (1958), Gershwin Live! (1982)
- Gene Ammons - Nice An' Cool (1961)
- Blossom Dearie - My Gentleman Friend (1961)
- Etta James - Etta James Sings for Lovers (1962)
- Rosemary Clooney - Love (1963)
- Barbra Streisand - My Name Is Barbra (1965)
- Johnny Hodges - with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra (1966)
- Oscar Peterson - My Favorite Instrument (1968)
- Mary Hopkin - Postcard (1969)
- Willie Nelson - Stardust (1978)
- Nikka Costa - (1981)
- Melissa Manchester - Hey Ricky (1982)
- Roberta Flack - Someone to Watch Over Me (1987); played over the end credits and remains unreleased
- Linda Ronstadt - What's New (1983)
- Sting - At the Movies (1987); recorded in 1987 for the soundtrack of Someone to Watch Over Me
- Maria del Mar Bonet - Ben a prop" "En algun lloc del meu cor" (1989)
- Toots Thielemans with Shirley Horn - For My Lady (1991)
- Jodi Benson - Crazy for You (musical) Original Broadway Cast Recording (1992)
- Sheena Easton - No Strings (1993)
- Dennis DeYoung - 10 on Broadway (1994)
- Dusty Springfield recorded a truncated version for a PPP Healthcare commercial. It was the final recording of her career. (1995)
- Stéphane Grappelli - Crazy Rhythm (1996)
- Keith Jarrett - The Melody at Night, With You (1998)
- Susannah McCorkle - Someone to Watch Over Me—Songs of George Gershwin (1998)
- Sinéad O'Connor- Red Hot + Rhapsody (1998)
- Rod Stewart - As Time Goes By: The Great American Songbook 2(2003)
- Chris Botti - When I Fall In Love (2004)
- Chelsea Krombach - Profile (2004)
- Brad Mehldau - Live in Tokyo (2004)
- Renee Olstead - Renee Olstead (2004)
- Sue Raney - Sue Raney Volume II (2004)
- Lea Salonga - Lea Salonga The Broadway Concert (2004)
- The Conglomerate - Go to the Beach (2005)
- Gladys Knight - Before Me (2006)
- Lena Horne - A New Album (2007)
- Gary Tole - Gary Tole and Legends of Swing, One Kettle for Count (2007)
- Art Garfunkel - Some Enchanted Evening (2007)
- Amy Winehouse - Frank (Deluxe Edition) (2008)
- Asher Book and Kay Panabaker - Fame (2009)
- Cœur de pirate & Benoît Charest - Nos Stars célèbrent le jazz a Montréal" (2009)
- Kim Burrell - No Ways Tired (2009)
- The Hot Club of Cowtown - Wishful Thinking (2009)
- Brian Wilson - Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin (2010)
- Alfie Boe - Alfie (2010)
- Sarah Caroline Billings - IU Theater Circle Gala (2011)
- Susan Boyle - Someone to Watch Over Me (2011)
- Ayaka Hirahara - "Wakare no Kyoku"/"Someone to Watch Over Me" (2011)
- Rachael MacFarlane - Hayley Sings (2012)
- Angie Miller - Season 12 of American Idol (2013)
Sung in the movies 
The 1987 movie Someone To Watch Over Me, directed by Ridley Scott, takes its title from this song. The soundtrack features three versions of "Someone to Watch Over Me", two of which were new renditions by Sting and Roberta Flack. The third version used was the 1961 recording by Gene Ammons. A soundtrack album was never issued and so the Roberta Flack performance (produced by Michael Kamen) remains unreleased. Sting included his version as a b-side for the "Englishman in New York" single, and on the compilation At The Movies, released in 1999.
Another 1987 film, Beyond Therapy, used the tune, sung by Yves Montand, in its opening sequence.
This song was made famous to another generation in the 1996 American movie Mr. Holland's Opus. Jean Louisa Kelly played the part of Rowena, who sang "Someone to Watch Over Me" in this movie; however, a different version of the song sung by Julia Fordham was included on the movie soundtrack.
Asher Book also sings it in the 2009 remake of Fame.
Featured in television 
"Someone to Watch Over Me" was featured extensively in an episode of the television series Battlestar Galactica. The episode, also titled "Someone to Watch Over Me", featured a piano player who played the song in "Joe's Bar".
The song was sung twice briefly by Arnold Rimmer in an episode of the long-running science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf. The episode, "Thanks for the Memory", originally aired on 20 September 1988. "That was going to be our song," the character confides, expressing regret at putting his own (dismal) career ahead of finding love. "But I never found her. So now it's just my song."
Liz Torres performed the song to her own piano playing in the episode, "It's a Wonderful Leap – May 10, 1958" of Quantum Leap, which originally aired on April 1, 1992. In this episode, Torres appeared as "Angelita Carmen Guadalupe Cecelia Jiminez", an angel. Dr. Sam Beckett is in the body of a cabbie who is destined to be shot trying to win a NYC cab medallion. Angelita plays the song for the cabbie's father, a widower; it was "their song" for the father and his late wife. (The title of the episode is a reference to Frank Capra's movie, It's a Wonderful Life.)[original research?]
It served as the background music for the finale episode of the second season of Friends entitled "The One With Barry and Mindy's Wedding".
Katharine McPhee also performed the song on American Idol, during the show's fifth Season in 2006. Allison Iraheta performed the song in American Idol Season 8, as a Top 5 contestant in 2009. In 2010, Seth Rollins sang on auditions for Season 9.
In the episode "The Ghost Network" of the television series Fringe, Peter Bishop plays the song on the piano to his partner Olivia Dunham.
In the episode "Ben There, Done That" of the television series (Series 2, Episode 24) The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Madison Cooperstein (Renee Olstead), sings the song at the end of the show at Leo and Betty's wedding.
In an episode of Cold Case entitled "Wings", the Frank Sinatra version of the song appeared at the end of the episode.
In the episode "New York" of the television series (Season 2, Episode 22) Glee, the instrumental melody is played as Finn meets Rachel at Central Park.
In the episode "Baby, It's Cold Inside" of the television series WKRP in Cincinnati, Mama Carlson (Carol Bruce) sings the song to the staff in the bull pen after making Johnny Fever play Gershwin on the air.
Prominently featured in the remake of Fame (2009).
In the eighth season premiere of American Dad! entitled "Love, AD Style", the Rachael MacFarlane version was featured towards the beginning as her character Hayley Smith is heard singing it in the shower. However, she is interrupted by Roger barging in; her voice inspires him to hire her as a singer for the attic bar he is opening up.
- Art Tatum - Someone to Watch Over Me - YouTube
- Jazzdisco.org: Gene Ammons
- IMDB Soundtracks for Someone to Watch Over Me
- Dusty Springfield, Someone to watch over me - YouTube
- "When I Fall In Love overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Everyone is Falling for Chris Botti". SmoothJazzNews.com.
- Before Me - Gladys Knight at Allmusic. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Beyond Therapy (1987) - IMDb
"Someone to Watch Over Me" is played during the first season of the television show the Outer Limits, episode "Worlds Apart".
See also