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"Somewhere" is a song from the 1957 Broadwaymarker musical West Side Story and the 1961 film. The music was 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. The song has also been recorded by many artists, and released as a single by several, including Barbra Streisand, Phil Collins, Johnny Mathis, Julian Lloyd Webber, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Devo, Tom Waits, P. J. Proby, Oscar Peterson, Il Divo, Dutch Rockband Zinatra, Donald Braswell II, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie Minogue, Jane McDonald, Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, Jennifer Hudson, La Toya London, Leona Lewis & Katharine McPhee. Most recently, British saxophonist Julian Smith performed a rendition of the song on his soprano saxophone in the 2009 final of Britain's Got Talent.

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 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 the movie

(Cast references below are to the film cast.)

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 says "Then I'll take you away, where nothing can get to us." and 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.

P. J. Proby version

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.

Barbra Streisand version

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 ("Billboard Hot 100") and #22 in the UK.

Phil Collins version

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

Charts

Chart (1993) Peak

position
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 7


Pet Shop Boys version

"Somewhere" was released as a single by the British music group Pet Shop Boys in 1997 to promote their "Somewhere" residency at the Savoy Theatremarker 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 US Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at #19 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. In the US, 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 listing

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

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


Other cover versions



References




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