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

Album: Que Sera, Sera (1956)
Charted: 1 2
  • 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 agency, 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
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Comments: 21

  • Matt from Erie, PaBarry forgot to mention that Doris Day is also mentioned--along with many others!--in the 1974 record, "Life Is a Rock," by Reunion. Right before Jack the Ripper...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyDoris Day, born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, passed away at the age of 97 on May 13th, 2019 in Carmel Valley, California...
    She had five #1 records; "Sentimental Journey", with Les Brown, {for 9 weeks in 1945}, "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time", with Les Brown, {for 7 weeks in 1945}, "Love Somebody", with Buddy Clark, {for 5 weeks in 1948}, "A Guy Is A Guy" {for 1 week in 1952}, and "Secret Love" {for 4 weeks in 1954}...
    And just missed having three more #1 records when her "It's Magic" {1948}, "Again" {1949}, and "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)"* {1956} all peaked at position #2...
    Ms. Day was referred to in two #1 records on Billboard's Top 100 chart, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! {1984} and "We Didn't Start The Fire " by Billy Joel {1989}...
    And her name was also mentioned in four uncharted records, "La De Da" by Ringo Starr {1999}, 'Dig It" by the Beatles {1970}, "Dirty Epic" by Underworld {1994}, and "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee" from the musical 'Grease' {1978}...
    May she R.I.P.
    * "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in August of 1956, and for the three weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for those 3 weeks was "My Prayer" by the Platters...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the first week it was at #2, it was tied at that position with "Allegheny Moon" by Patti Page..
  • Adrian Chan from MalaysiaShe (Doris) indeed owe her longevity to this song. Leave the future alone, after all we do not know what will happen next...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 1st 1956, Doris Day signed a five-year one million dollar recording contract with Columbia Records...
    And six days later on June 7th, 1956 "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" entered Billboard's Hot 100 chart at position #78*; ten weeks later on August 9th, 1956 it would peak at #2* {for 2 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 27 weeks, for fifteen of those weeks it was on the Top 10...
    Ms. Day, born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, celebrated her 93rd birthday two months ago on April 3rd {2015}...
    * According to Billboard the week it entered the Top 100 at #78 it was actually tied with Gale Storm's covered version of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and for the two weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "My Prayer" by the Platters.
  • Gary from Tucson, AzShe also sang a bit of this song with Arthur Godrey in "The Glass Bottom Boat."
  • Dean from Hoover, AlOne of my favorite songs!
  • Robert from Maple, On@ 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
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyDoris Day had a big hit in 1953 with "Secret Love"; it also won an Academy Award for Best Song!!!
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaLivingston 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!
  • Cloud from Taipei, Taiwanwhen 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

  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaFunny; 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)
  • Manda from Oc, CaSo, tell me why iTunes has a 'clean' and 'explicit' version of this song?
  • Chris from Ozona, United StatesI 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.
  • Ethan from HelsinkiThis song was also played by Pink Martini, whose version was in an episode of Dead Like Me.
  • Hannah from Madison, WiI 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.
  • Robert from Nyc, NyThis song was written by Bernard Herrmann who scored the movie. Ray and Jay did the lyrics. I know Benny Herrmann was my uncle.
  • James from Brisbane, AustraliaLong 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.
  • Don from Newmarket, CanadaSung in the Simpson's episode when a comet threatens to destroy Springfield.
  • Dennis from Chicagoland Burrows, IlThis song's in the "Heathers" at the beginning, with the croquet!
  • Kevin from Cincinnati, OhSly 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.
  • Wes from Springfield, VaThe 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.
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