Someone To Watch Over Me

Songfacts®:

  • Described by Gershwin biographer Deena Rosenberg as "the second in a series of great Gershwin ballads about looking for an elusive companion," the standard "Someone To Watch Over Me" is "about a particular someone, an actual love that may be lost." Written for the 1926 musical Oh, Kay!, it was introduced by Noël Coward's friend and contemporary Gertrude Lawrence, who sang it to a doll, of which George Gershwin said: "This doll was a strange looking object I found in a Philadelphia toy store and gave to Miss Lawrence with the suggestion that she use it in the number. That doll stayed in the show for the entire run."
  • The sheet music has been re-issued many times since 1926 when it was published by Harms of New York, with lyrics by the composer's brother, Ira. Frank Sinatra recorded perhaps the most popular version of this song in 1945. Other artists to record it include Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt and Amy Winehouse. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander - London, England, for above 2
  • A 1999 episode of Star Trek: Voyager was titled "Someone to Watch Over Me" and used the song. It has appeared in many other movies and TV series. Among the TV uses:

    Masters of Sex ("Coats or Keys" - 2016)
    Transparent ("Oscillate" - 2015)
    The Simpsons ("Clown in the Dumps" - 2014)
    Parenthood ("Jump Ball" - 2014)
    Call the Midwife ("Episode #1.5" - 2012)
    Glee ("New York" - 2011)
    Fringe ("The Ghost Network" - 2008)
    Gilmore Girls ("There's the Rub" - 2002, "Love and War and Snow" - 2000)
    The West Wing ("Process Stories" - 2002)
    Alias ("The Confession" - 2002)
    Friends ("The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding" - 1996)
    The Outer Limits ("Worlds Apart" - 1996)
    Quantum Leap ("It's a Wonderful Leap - May 10, 1958" - 1992)
    Growing Pains ("Where There's a Will" - 1990)
    Falcon Crest ("Dead End" - 1987)
    Miami Vice ("Heroes of the Revolution" - 1987)
    WKRP in Cincinnati ("Baby, It's Cold Inside" - 1981)
    M*A*S*H ("I Hate a Mystery" - 1972)

    And these movies:

    Mr. Holland's Opus (1995, performed by Jean Louisa Kelly)
    Jennifer 8 (1992)
    Man on Fire (1987)
    The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
    After Hours (1985)
    Manhattan (1979)
    A Safe Place (1971)
    Star! (1968)
    The Glass Menagerie (1950)
    Backfire (1950)
    John Loves Mary (1949)
    The Unsuspected (1947)
    Dark Passage (1947)
  • In 2011 Susan Boyle recorded a bluesy, contemporary version of this standard for the title track of her third album.
  • The 1987 Ridley Scott crime drama Someone To Watch Over Me, about a police officer tasked to protect a socialite who witnessed a murder, takes its name from this song. A few versions are used throughout the film, including one arranged and performed by Sting, who later included the song on his 1996 album Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot.

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