Somewhere (song)

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This article is about the song from West Side Story. For the Shanice song, see Somewhere (Shanice song). For other uses, see Somewhere (disambiguation).

"Somewhere" sometimes referred to as "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)" or simply "There's a Place for Us" is a song from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story that was made into a film in 1961. The music is composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and takes a phrase from the slow movement of Beethoven's 'Emperor' Piano Concerto, which forms the start of the melody,[1] and also a longer phrase from the main theme of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

The song in the stage musical[edit]

In the stage musical, the song appears in the second act of the show during the Somewhere Ballet. It is performed by an off-stage soprano singer and is later reprised by the entire company. In the original Broadway production, "Somewhere" was sung by Reri Grist who played the role of Consuela.

At the end of the show, when Tony is shot, Maria sings the first few lines of the song as he dies in her arms.

In late 1957, this recording was released on the album West Side Story (Original Broadway Cast).

The song in the 1961 film[edit]

In the 1961 film, the song occurs at a pivotal point, after the rumble in which former Jets leader Tony (Richard Beymer) has stabbed his girlfriend's brother, Bernardo (George Chakiris). Having nowhere else to go, Tony runs to his girlfriend, Maria (Natalie Wood). Maria has just been told of her brother's death and who killed him. When Tony comes to her room through the balcony window, Maria, in shock, pounds against his chest.

Realizing in spite of her anger that she still loves Tony, Maria begs him to hold her. After Maria cries out, "It's not us...it's everything around us." Tony replies, "Then I'll take you away, where nothing can get to us." He then begins singing "Somewhere" to her. His comforting voice draws her in and it becomes a duet of hope that their love will survive "somehow, someday, somewhere."

As in the stage show, Maria sings the first few lines of the song as Tony dies in her arms.

"Somewhere" is the only track that is out of sequence on the original soundtrack album as it is the last track on Side 2. This is rectified on the CD as "Somewhere" is correctly placed in sequence to the film between "The Rumble" and "Cool."

P. J. Proby version[edit]

In 1964, P. J. Proby released his version of "Somewhere" which reached #6 on the British singles chart and #7 on the Australian singles chart. The song also charted well in various European countries.

Chart positions Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 6
Australian Singles Chart 7

The Supremes' version[edit]

In 1965, the Supremes recorded the song for their album, There's a Place for Us, though it went unreleased until 2004. They also used it for their debut appearance at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City and it eventually became a fixture of their nightclub acts. They also sang the song on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace. In contrast to the original melody, a special dramatic monologue was incorporated, which was frequently changed in conjunction with changes in the group as well as the country's turmoil in the late 1960s.

In the aftermath of the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr., the monologue was changed to reflect King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. When the Supremes appeared on the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson the day after King had been murdered, lead singer Diana Ross was so overcome with emotion that she practically stumbled through the speech, but got an extraordinary ovation from the studio audience. It would once again be nationally televised several months later that year when the group paired up with the Temptations for an NBC television special, TCB. The monolgue for that special went as follows:

"Yes, there's a place for each of us, Where love is like a passion, burning like a fire, Let our efforts be as determined as that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Who had a dream that all God's children, Black men, white men, Jews, Gentiles, Protestants, and Catholics, Could join hands and sing that spiritual of all: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"

Barbra Streisand version[edit]

In 1985, Barbra Streisand released a version of "Somewhere" as a single off the Grammy Award-winning The Broadway Album, charting at #43 in the US (on the Billboard Hot 100) and #88 in the UK.[2] The song itself won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s). In 2011, a duet was produced using scenes from Streisand's version while Jackie Evancho performed live with David Foster at the Ringling Museum of Art. On her 2014 Partners album, she released a new recording of the song, this time as a duet with Josh Groban.

Phil Collins version[edit]

"Somewhere"
Single by Phil Collins
from the album The Songs of West Side Story
Released 1996
Format CD, 12"
Genre Rock
Length 4:02
Label Atlantic, Virgin, WEA
Writer(s) Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s) Phil Collins
Phil Collins singles chronology
"We Wait and We Wonder"
(1994)
"Somewhere"
(1996)
"Dance into the Light"
(1996)

British singer Phil Collins later covered the song in 1996 for the West Side Story cover album The Songs of West Side Story.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 7

Pet Shop Boys version[edit]

"Somewhere"
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Bilingual Special Edition
B-side "The view from your balcony"
Released June 23, 1997
Format CD single, 12"
Recorded 1995
Genre Dance-pop
Length 4:42
Label Parlophone / Atlantic
Writer(s) Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s) Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"A Red Letter Day"
(1997)
"Somewhere"
(1997)
"I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More"
(1999)

"Somewhere" was released as a single by the British music group Pet Shop Boys in 1997 to promote their "Somewhere" residency at the Savoy Theatre in London, which was named after the song, and to promote a repackage of Bilingual.

The single was another top 10 hit for the group, peaking at #9. The single also peaked at #25 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, equaling #125 on the main United States Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at #19 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. In the U.S., the song was released as a double A-side with "A Red Letter Day".

The Pet Shop Boys' version also uses elements of another West Side Story song, "I Feel Pretty", and the album version uses elements of "One Hand, One Heart" spoken by Chris Lowe.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD single 1 (Parlophone)
  1. "Somewhere"
  2. "The view from your balcony"
  3. "To step aside" (Ralphi's Old School Dub)
  4. "Somewhere" (Forthright Vocal Mix)
UK CD single 2 (Parlophone)
  1. "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
  2. "Disco potential"
  3. "Somewhere" (Trouser Enthusiasts Mix)
  4. "Somewhere" (Forthright Dub)
UK cassette single
  1. "Somewhere"
  2. "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
  3. "The view from your balcony"

Chart positions[edit]

Chart positions Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 9
Swedish Singles Chart 21
German Singles Chart 70
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 19
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 25[3]

Other cover versions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ross, Alex. The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1-84115-475-6. 
  2. ^ Barbra Streisand Archives: Records/The Broadway Album.
  3. ^ Equaling #125 on the main Billboard Hot 100.
  4. ^ "At The Movies overview". Allmusic.com. 
  5. ^ "Dave Koz - At The Movies". Allmusic.com. 
  6. ^ Grein, Paul (October 5, 2011). "Week Ending Oct. 2, 2011. Songs: Gone But Not Forgotten". Chart Watch. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  7. ^ We Five, Make Someone Happy Retrieved March 5, 2012.

External links[edit]