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Q: Lyrics of a song in a movie ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Lyrics of a song in a movie
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Movies and Film
Asked by: francisco68-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 07 Jan 2006 07:26 PST
Expires: 06 Feb 2006 07:26 PST
Question ID: 430331
In what language were the words"Que será,será" (Doris Day-the man that
knew to mutch)written on, was it Portuguese or Spanish, and why was
that language used?
Thank you
Subject: Re: Lyrics of a song in a movie
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 07 Jan 2006 09:44 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Francisco68,   

The song "Que Sera, Sera" was written in 1955 by Jay Livingston and
Ray Evans for Doris Day to sing in "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

?In Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, she sang "Que Será,
Será", which won an Oscar. "Que Será, Será" (Spanish for "What Will
Be, Will Be") became her signature song.?

Que Sera Sera is Spanish not Portuguese. It is also spelled the same
in French but would be pronounced slightly differently.

Why was that language used?

While making the film , Alfred Hitchcock told the songwriters he
didn't know what kind of song he  wanted, but that it would help if it
had a foreign title (because  Stewarts' character was a roving
ambassador), and the song had to be  sung to a little boy.


Alfred Hitchcock was putting together a picture called The Man Who
Knew Too Much. He wanted Jimmy Stewart to star, but Stewarts' agent 
(MCA) said he couldn't have Stewart unless he took another of their 
clients,Doris Day, for the female lead, and Livingston & Evans to 
write the songs for her. The other 99.99% of their careers, Livingston
 & Evans would get the job, and then call their agent to put together 
the deal.  As mentioned before, this was the only time the roles were 
reversed.  Initially, Hithcock didn't want Doris Day, AND he didn't
want a  song (even though Doris' character was a singer in the film).
Well, he  relented on Doris Day (ultimately coming to believe she did
a  wonderful job) AND he told Jay and Ray that he had found a way to
use a song in the story. He told them he didn't know what kind of song
he  wanted, but that it would help if it had a foreign title (because 
Stewarts' character was a roving ambassador), and the song had to be 
sung to a little boy.  Well, Jay had recently seen a picture called
The Barefoot Contessa, in  which Rosanno Brazzi had taken Ava Gardner
to his ancestral castle in  Italy. Carved there in stone was the
family motto: Che Sera Sera. He  explained to her what it meant. Jay
thought it might make a good song  title, so he wrote it down (in the
dark).  When they got the Hitchcock assignment, Jay and Ray both knew
it was  the perfect title. They changed the spelling to the Spanish
"Que Sera  Sera" because there are so many Spanish-speaking people in
the world. The phrase is spelled the same in French as well (which
probably  explains the international popularity of the song).  Jay
sang the finished song for Hitchcock, who remarked,"I told you I 
didn't know what kind of a song I want. That's the kind of song I 
want". He then walked out and they didn't see him again for years.


"Meanwhile, Doris was not at all thrilled by the prospect of singing 
Que Sera Sera. She actually refused to record it, until Paramount 
pressured her into doing so because it was the important song in the 
picture. Paul Weston, who was at the session, said she did it in one 
take and said, "That's the last time you'll ever hear that song". She 
thought it was a childrens' song and, thus, not a likely candidate for
 a hit record. As it turns out, it became her biggest hit and the
theme  of her TV show.?

Google Groups: taken from a Hitchcock website

Doris Day who sang that Que Sera Sera did not initially believe in
those lines.  Here is an anecdote about that all-time favorite in
Doris Day?s words.

"We went to their [lyricists Jay Livingston and Ray Evans] music
studio, where they played ?Que Sera, Sera? for me.  I thought it was
fine for the spot in the picture where it was needed, but later, when
I saw Marty [Melcher; Doris Day?s agent and then husband], I expressed
my disappointment that it did not have a broader appeal.

?What do you mean?? Marty asked.

?Well, it?s a kiddy song.  It?s sweet, and perfect for where I sing it
in the film, but I was hoping it would be more than that.  You know ?
?Whatever will be, will be? ? that?s not really my kind of lyric.?

?I think you?re dead wrong.  Hitchcock and I both think it?s going to
be a big hit.  You?ll see.?

Of course, I?ve never been wronger about anything than I was about
?Que Sera?.  I recorded it for Columbia and for the movie album and it
became the most popular of all my songs." [source: Doris Day -Her Own
Story, by A.E.Hotchner, 1976, pp.146-147]

Search criteria:
Que Sera Sera Doris Day
Hitchcock song The Man Who Knew Too Much
Jay Livingston Ray Evans

I hope the information provided is helpful!

Best regards, 

Clarification of Answer by bobbie7-ga on 07 Jan 2006 10:10 PST
Additional information:

"Here's the latest background information on another of the 2005 HALL OF 

The song was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, having been 
inspired by a phrase in the Ava Gardner film, THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA, 
where the character played by Rossano Brazzi had the family motto "Che 
Sera, Sera."   Evans and Livingston switched the Italian "Che" to 
"Que," changing the language from Italian to Spanish (because Spanish 
was more widely spoken in the US). 

WHATEVER WILL BE, WILL BE (QUE SERA, SERA) was written for Alfred 
Hitchcock's remake of his own British thriller from 1934, THE MAN WHO 
KNEW TOO MUCH.  Doris Day and James Stewart starred.  Hitchcock 
didn't normally use music in his films, but Paramount Pictures (the 
film's producers) felt that Doris Day's fans would be expecting to 
hear her sing. 

"Que sera, sera" means "What will be, will be."  Normally, QUE 
SERA, SERA would have been the song's official title, but as the 
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences only considered 
English-titled songs for Oscars, the songwriters were asked to release 
it under it's English translation."
francisco68-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very complete answer, and thanks for the link to the Hitchcock site

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