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Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

by

Doris Day



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, who wrote many songs for movies when they were under contract with Paramount Pictures. Doris Day sang it in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of his 1934 film The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the film, she was putting her young son to bed. Livingston told Paul Zollo in 1987: "We got a call from Alfred Hitchcock. And he told us that he had Doris Day in his picture, whom he didn't want. But MCA, the agancy, was so powerful that they said if he wanted Jimmy Stewart he would also have to take Doris Day and Livingston and Evans. It was the only time an agent got us a job that I can remember. Hitchcock said that since Doris Day was a singer, they needed a song for her. He said, 'I can tell you what it should be about. She sings it to a boy. It should have a foreign title because Jimmy Stewart is a roving ambassador and he goes all over the world." (this appears in Zollo's book Songwriters On Songwriting)
The phrase "Que Sera, Sera" came from a movie called The Barefoot Contessa, where the character Rossano Brazzi's family motto was "Che Sera, Sera." The motto in the film was Italian, but Evans and Livingston switched the "Che" to "Que" because more people spoke Spanish in the US.
This became Doris Day's biggest hit and her signature song, but she didn't want to record it because she thought of it as a children's song. Livingston explained in Zollo's interview: "She didn't want to record it but the studio pressured her. She did it in one take and said, 'That's the last you're going to hear of this song.'"
Ray Evans and Jay Livingston also wrote the theme song to the TV show Mr. Ed, which was about a talking horse (Livingston sang on that one). Some of their other compositions include "Mona Lisa" and the Christmas classic "Silver Bells."
This song won the 1956 Oscar for Best Song. In addition, Doris Day's character sang it to herself in a scene from the 1960 film Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and the song later became the theme song for her sitcom The Doris Day Show, which ran from 1968-73. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA)
Doris Day
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Comments (16):

One of my favorite songs!
- Dean, Hoover, AL
@ Cyberpope, what you stated about the movie motto is correct, however the true Italian translation for : whatever will be, will be is Che sara, sara
- Robert, Maple, ON
Doris Day had a big hit in 1953 with "Secret Love"; it also won an Academy Award for Best Song!!!
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Livingston and Evans can be seen performing at a party(at the piano) in the movie "Sunset Blvd"(1950)Paramount.
They even get billing with the other actors on the Main Title!
- steve dotstar, los angeles, CA
when i was teenage i have been listened it

it's full lyrical i think i never forget it
after many years
I became to adult and went through much change in life I reminded og the song
what will be

sometime my daughters asked me
What will I be
oh my dear baby
yes The future's not ours to see
what will be
you just remember you are my daughters

cloud
- cloud, taipei, Taiwan
Funny; the original, Italian, title lyric meant "What an evening!"; in Spanish it doesn't all translate. . .

Nice song, though & you understand the story (mom telling child not to sweat the future; just let watever happens, happen)
- Cyberpope, Richmond, Canada
So, tell me why iTunes has a 'clean' and 'explicit' version of this song?
- Manda, OC, CA
I heard an 80 year old man playing this the other day on a broken down piano in a thrift shop. I think it was the most beautiful music I have heard in a long while. A hauntingly beautiful c-major waltz! I also snagged an amazing album by Doris Day called "Day by Day" on an earlier visit.
- Chris, Ozona, United States
This song was also played by Pink Martini, whose version was in an episode of Dead Like Me.
- Ethan, Helsinki
I don't think the ending of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is idiotic at all. I think it is touching and an ingenious plot element. Just because you can't direct a film like Mr. Hitchcock doesn't mean you should criticize him. Go back to the hole in Virginia that you crawled out of.
- Hannah, Madison, WI
This song was written by Bernard Herrmann who scored the movie. Ray and Jay did the lyrics. I know Benny Herrmann was my uncle.
- Robert, NYC, NY
Long before Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, in 1588 Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) in his play 'Doctor Faustus' wrote "Che sera, sera, What will be, shall be". Perhaps Messrs Evans and Livingston just happened to be thumbing through the old English classics and thought this was the cue for a song.
- James, Brisbane, Australia
Sung in the Simpson's episode when a comet threatens to destroy Springfield.
- Don, Newmarket, Canada
This song's in the "Heathers" at the beginning, with the croquet!
- Dennis, Chicagoland burrows, IL
Sly and the Family Stone did a copy of this song on an album called Fresh in the 70s.I like Sly but the cover of this song i don't care for.
- kevin, cincinnati, OH
The end of the Hitchcock movie is pretty idiotic, wherein Doris bellows this tune at the top of her lungs to alert her son of her presence.
- Wes, Springfield, VA
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