April 29, 2009

Song of the Day: Que Sera, Sera

*For Mom, who sang it with me in our booth at Big River Restaurant yesterday*

The Academy Award winner for Best Song in 1956, "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)," music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, is probably the most memorable thing about Hitchcock's film, "The Man Who Knew Too Much," a remake of his 1934 British film. Watch with me now Doris Day's iconic and eternal performance of the song at the climax of the film. As film scholar Robin Wood once said of the tune: "Middle-aged academics are not supposed to admit that they burst into tears every time Doris Day begins '[Que] Sera, Sera," but in my case it is a fact. What makes the moment so moving is its magical resolution of apparent oppositions. ... I see it as resolving the more practical and prosaic opposition of motherhood vs. career: it represents Jo's triumph simultaneously as mother and performer (and we can admire the power of her voice even if the embassy audience is a trifle taken aback)." Oh, how moving it is.

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