Photographer's Note

La Mer / The Sea

"La Mer" is a song written by French composer, lyricist, singer and showman Charles Trenet (1913 – 2001).

Trenet wrote the lyrics of "La Mer" on a train in 1943 while travelling along the French Mediterranean coast, returning from Paris to Narbonne, supposedly in ten minutes, on toilet paper supplied by SNCF. He was assisted with the tune by Leo Chauliac. It was originally published by Raoul Breton.

It was not until 1946 that Trenet recorded the song, since neither he nor the people around him believed the song to be anything special or particularly original. When he released "La Mer" in 1946 it turned out, however, to be an unexpected hit and has remained a chanson classic ever since.

English lyrics, unrelated to the French lyrics, were later written by Jack Lawrence and entitled "Beyond the Sea". This became a hit for Bobby Darin in 1959, and the song has since been recorded by more than 400 other artists in many languages.

Original French lyrics
La mer
Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent
La mer
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

Près des étangs
Ces grands roseaux mouillés
Ces oiseaux blancs
Et ces maisons rouillées

La mer
Les a bercés
Le long des golfes clairs
Et d'une chanson d'amour
La mer
A bercé mon coeur pour la vie

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Additional Photos by Manuel Mayorga (ManuMay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2467 W: 253 N: 4601] (36447)
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