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La Mer

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"La Mer"
Charles Trenet
Artist
Charles Trenet
Released
1946
Buy from
Heard/referenced in:

©1946


Danielle Rousseau included the lyrics to "La Mer", a song written by French lyricist Charles Trenet (1913–2001), in her notes on the Island. Since it is a popular French song that was first recorded in the 1940s, Danielle Rousseau was probably familiar with it since childhood.

Sayid, wanting to decipher the notes and not knowing French, sought help from Shannon, who'd previously translated the distress signal. Her initial translation sounded like "nonsense" to Sayid, but she later identified the lyrics, recognizing the song from the French dub of Finding Nemo. A boy under her care during her time as an au pair in Paris had repeatedly watched the film, which played "La Mer" over its closing credits.

Shannon singing
Shannon singing "La Mer" ("Whatever the Case May Be")

At the end of the episode that features this subplot, Shannon's rendition of the song in French transitions into an instrumental version as part of the episode's score. The musical score in "A Tale of Two Cities", "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" and "The Package" also incorporate diegetic songs — "Downtown", "Shambala" and "Catch a Falling Star" respectively.

Song background

"La Mer" is the basis for the popular song "Beyond the Sea". The English lyric was written by Jack Lawrence. It has been recorded by many singers, but Bobby Darin's version is the best-known.

It is claimed that Trenet wrote the song, together with Leo Chauliac, while riding a train in 1943. It was not until 1946 that he actually recorded the song.

It was featured in the opening credits to L.A. Story. The English version of the song featured prominently in the X-Files Season 1, Episode 12, also named "Beyond the Sea". The end credits for the French version of Finding Nemo actually contain "Beyond The Sea".


Lyrics in French with translation

Lamer
Des reflets changeants

Sous la pluie
La mer
Au ciel d'été confond
Ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs
La mer,
bergère d'azur infinie.
Voyez
Près des étangs
Ces grands roseaux mouillés.
Voyez
Ces oiseaux blancs

La mer
The Sea
Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
That one sees dancing along the clear gulfs
A des reflets d'argent
Has silver reflections
La mer
The Sea
Des reflets changeants
Changing reflections
Sous la pluie
Under the rain

La mer
The Sea
Au ciel d'été confond
In the summer sky merge
Ses blancs moutons
Its white sheep
Avec les anges si purs
With such pure angels
La mer bergère d'azur
The sea, shepherdess of azure
Infinie
Infinite

Voyez
See
Près des étangs
Close to the ponds
Ces grands roseaux mouillés
These large wet reeds
Voyez
See
Ces oiseaux blancs
These white birds
Et ces maisons rouillées
And these rusted houses

La mer
The Sea
Les a bercés
Has rocked them
Le long des golfes clairs
Along the clear gulfs
Et d'une chanson d'amour
And with a song of love
La mer
The Sea
A bercé mon cœur pour la vie
Has soothed my heart for life

Lyrics for "Beyond the Sea"

Somewhere beyond the sea,
Somewhere, waiting for me,
My lover stands on golden sands
And watches the ships that go sailing;

Somewhere beyond the sea,
He's (She's) there watching for me.
If I could fly like birds on high,
Then straight to his (her) arms I'd go sailing.

It's far beyond a star,
It's near beyond the moon,
I know beyond a doubt
My heart will lead me there soon.

We'll meet beyond the shore,
We'll kiss just as before.
Happy we'll be beyond the sea,
And never again I'll go sailing


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