Somewhere (song)

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"Somewhere", sometimes referred to as "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)" or simply "There's a Place for Us", is a song from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story that was made into a film in 1961. The music is composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and takes a phrase from the slow movement of Beethoven's 'Emperor' Piano Concerto, which forms the start of the melody [1] , and also a longer phrase from the main theme of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.


The song in the stage musical

In the stage musical, the song appears in the second act of the show during the Somewhere Ballet. It is performed by an off-stage soprano singer and is later reprised by the entire company. In the original Broadway production, "Somewhere" was sung by Reri Grist who played the role of Consuelo.

At the end of the show, when Tony is shot, Maria sings the first few lines of the song as he dies in her arms.

In late 1957, this recording was released on the album West Side Story (Original Broadway Cast) .

The song in the 1961 film

In the 1961 film, the song occurs at a pivotal point, after the rumble in which Tony (Richard Beymer) has stabbed Maria's brother, Bernardo (George Chakiris). Having nowhere else to go, Tony runs to Maria (Natalie Wood), who has just been told of her brother's death and who killed him. When Tony comes to her room through the balcony window, Maria, in shock, pounds against his chest.

Realizing in spite of her anger that she still loves Tony, Maria begs him to hold her. After Maria cries out, "It's not's everything around us." Tony replies, "Then I'll take you away, where nothing can get to us." He then begins singing "Somewhere" to her. His comforting voice draws her in and it becomes a duet of hope that their love will survive "somehow, someday, somewhere."

As in the stage show, Maria sings the first few lines of the song as Tony dies in her arms. In 2004, this version finished at #20 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

"Somewhere" is the only track that is out of sequence on the original soundtrack album as it is the last track on Side 2. This is rectified on the CD as "Somewhere" is correctly placed in sequence to the film between "The Rumble" and "Cool."

P. J. Proby version

In 1964, P. J. Proby released his version of "Somewhere", which reached numbers six on the British and seven on the Australian singles charts.[ citation needed ] The song also charted well in various European countries.

The Supremes' version

In 1965, the Supremes recorded the song for their album, There's a Place for Us , though it went unreleased until 2004. They also used it for their debut appearance at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City and it eventually became a fixture of their nightclub acts. They also sang the song on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace . In contrast to the original melody, a special dramatic monologue was incorporated, which was frequently changed in conjunction with changes in the group as well as the country's turmoil in the late 1960s.

In the aftermath of the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr., the monologue was changed to reflect King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. When the Supremes appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson the day after King had been murdered, lead singer Diana Ross was so overcome with emotion that she practically stumbled through the speech, but got an extraordinary ovation from the studio audience. It would once again be nationally televised several months later that year when the group paired up with the Temptations for an NBC television special, TCB . The monologue for that special went as follows: [2]

Yes, there's a place for each of us,
And we must try to pursue this place.
Where love is like a passion, that burns like a fire,
Let our efforts be as determined as that of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Who had a dream that all God's children,
Black men, white men, Jews, Gentiles, Protestants, and Catholics,
Could join hands and sing that spiritual of old:
"Free at last! Thank God Almighty, free at last!"

Tom Waits Version

In 1978 Tom Waits did a very strong and touching version of "Somewhere" on the Album "Blue Valentine" Waits, famed as an highly individualistic songwriter/singer, has covered very little material in his 50 year career as a unique voice in American music and culture.

Barbra Streisand Version

Single by Barbra Streisand
from the album The Broadway Album
B-side "Not While I'm Around"
Label Columbia
Composer(s) Leonard Bernstein
Lyricist(s) Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s) David Foster
Barbra Streisand singles chronology
"Send In the Clowns"

In 1985, Barbra Streisand released a version of "Somewhere" as a single from the Grammy Award-winning The Broadway Album . In the United States, it narrowly missed the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 43, but fared better on the Adult Contemporary chart, peaking at number 5. [3] It also peaked at number 88 on the UK Singles Chart. [4] The song itself won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s). In 2011, a duet was produced using scenes from Streisand's version while Jackie Evancho performed live with David Foster at the Ringling Museum of Art. On her 2014 Partners album, she released a new recording of the song, this time as a duet with Josh Groban.

Chart (1986)Peak
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [5] 72
Canada Adult Contemporary ( RPM ) [6] 2
UK Singles (OCC) [4] 88
US Billboard Hot 100 [7] 43
US Adult Contemporary ( Billboard ) [8] 5

Phil Collins version

British musician Phil Collins covered the song in 1996 for the West Side Story cover album The Songs of West Side Story.

Chart (1996)Peak
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [9] 68
Canada Adult Contemporary ( RPM ) [10] 8
US Adult Contemporary ( Billboard ) [11] 7

Pet Shop Boys version

Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Bilingual (special edition)
A-side "A Red Letter Day"
  • "The View from Your Balcony"
  • "Disco Potential"
ReleasedJune 23, 1997
Genre Hi-NRG [12]
Label Parlophone
Composer(s) Leonard Bernstein
Lyricist(s) Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s) Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"A Red Letter Day"
"I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More"
Music video
"Somewhere" on YouTube

"Somewhere" was released as a single by English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys on June 23, 1997, to promote their "Somewhere" residency at the Savoy Theatre in London, which was named after the song, and to promote a repackage of Bilingual .

The single was another top-10 entry for the group, peaking at number 9 on the UK Singles Chart. The single also peaked at number 25 on the Billboard 's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It also peaked at number 19 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. In the United States, the song was released as a double A-side with "A Red Letter Day".

The Pet Shop Boys' version also uses elements of another West Side Story song, "I Feel Pretty", and the album version uses elements of "One Hand, One Heart" spoken by Chris Lowe.

Critical reception

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "In a perfect world, this wistful disco cover of the classic song from "West Side Story" would meet with open arms at pop radio. But, alas, narrow programming minds and even tighter playlist space will probably limit this single to the clubs—which is not necessarily a sad fate. Partners Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe dress the song in vibrant trance/NRG keyboards and plucky beats. A double-pack of remixes shows Trouser Enthusiasts (our pick for best remixer name of the season) and Forthright adding a trendy idea or two. Also quite nice is a stately orchestral version that allows Tennant to be at his melodramatic best." [13]

Track listings

  1. "Somewhere"
  2. "The View from Your Balcony"
  3. "To Step Aside" (Ralphi's Old School Dub)
  4. "Somewhere" (Forthright Vocal Mix)
  1. "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
  2. "Disco Potential"
  3. "Somewhere" (Trouser Enthusiasts Mix)
  4. "Somewhere" (Forthright Dub)
  1. "Somewhere"
  2. "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
  3. "The View from Your Balcony"


Chart (1997)Peak
Australia (ARIA) [14] 56
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles) [15] 72
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) [16] 9
Germany (Official German Charts) [17] 70
Hungary (MAHASZ) [18] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40 Tipparade) [19] 20
Scotland (OCC) [20] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [21] 21
UK Singles (OCC) [22] 9
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles ( Billboard ) [23] 25
US Dance Club Songs ( Billboard ) [24] 19

Other renditions

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