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"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. and also a longer phrase from the main theme of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
The song in the stage musical
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 Consuelo.
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
In the 1961 film, the song occurs at a pivotal point, after the rumble in which Tony (Richard Beymer) has stabbed Maria's brother, Bernardo (George Chakiris). Having nowhere else to go, Tony runs to Maria (Natalie Wood), who 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. In 2004, this version finished at #20 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
"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
In 1964, P. J. Proby released his version of "Somewhere", which reached number 6 on the British singles chart and 7 on the Australian singles chart. The song also charted well in various European countries.
|Australian Singles Chart||7|
|UK Singles Chart||6|
The Supremes' version
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 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 monologue for that special went as follows:
Yes, there's a place for each of us,
And we must try to pursue this place.
Where love is like a passion, that burns 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 old:
"Free at last! Thank God Almighty, free at last!"
Barbra Streisand version
In 1985, Barbra Streisand released a version of "Somewhere" as a single from the Grammy Award-winning The Broadway Album. In the United States, it narrowly missed the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 43, but fared better on the Adult Contemporary chart, peaking at number 5. It also peaked at number 88 on the UK Singles Chart. 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.
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||72|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||2|
|UK Singles (OCC)||88|
|US Billboard Hot 100||43|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||5|
Phil Collins version
|Single by Phil Collins|
|from the album The Songs of West Side Story|
|Phil Collins singles chronology|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||68|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||8|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||7|
Pet Shop Boys version
|Single by Pet Shop Boys|
|from the album Bilingual (special edition)|
|A-side||"A Red Letter Day"|
|Released||June 23, 1997|
|Producer(s)||Pet Shop Boys|
|Pet Shop Boys singles chronology|
"Somewhere" was released as a single by English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys on June 23, 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 entry for the group, peaking at number 9 on the UK Singles Chart. The single also peaked at number 25 on the Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It also peaked at number 19 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. In the United States, 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.
- UK CD single 1 Parlophone CDRS 6470
- "The View from Your Balcony"
- "To Step Aside" (Ralphi's Old School Dub)
- "Somewhere" (Forthright Vocal Mix)
- UK CD single 2 Parlophone CDR 6470
- "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
- "Disco Potential"
- "Somewhere" (Trouser Enthusiasts Mix)
- "Somewhere" (Forthright Dub)
- UK cassette single TCR 6470
- "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
- "The View from Your Balcony"
|Chart (1997)||Peak |
|Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)||72|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||9|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||70|
|UK Singles (OCC)||9|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||25|
|US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)||19|
Other notable cover versions
- Esther Ofarim covered this song on her 1965 album Is it Really Me? and in the 2006 re-release In New York With Bobby Scott & His Orchestra.
- Len Barry covered this song in 1966 and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Aretha Franklin covered the song twice. First in 1973 on Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), then again in 1995 on the compilation album The Songs of West Side Story.
- Tom Waits opened his 1978 album Blue Valentine with a cover of this song.
- Ben Platt performed this song at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards as a tribute to Leonard Bernstein.
New York City Subway
New York City Subway cars have a device that converts the direct current electricity from the tracks into alternating current electricity for the cars. This conversion emits three high pitched sounds that are identical to the first three notes of the song. 
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