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Someone to Watch Over Me (song)

"Someone to Watch Over Me"
Published 1926
Genre Jazz
Writer Ira Gershwin
Composer George Gershwin
Language English

"Someone to Watch Over Me" is a song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin from the musical Oh, Kay! (1926), where it was introduced by Gertrude Lawrence. Gershwin originally approached the song as an uptempo jazz tune, but his brother Ira suggested that it might work much better as a ballad, and George ultimately agreed. It has been performed by many artists since its debut and is a jazz standard as well as a key work in the Great American Songbook. It is also referenced in the play Someone Who'll Watch Over Me.

Recorded versions

In chronological order:

Sung in the movies

It was performed by Julie Andrews in the 1968 movie Star! about the life of the actress Gertrude Lawrence. The movie was directed by Robert Wise.

Frank Sinatra performs the song at a bar, whilst being ignored by the crowd but heard intensively by Doris Day in the 1954 film, Young at Heart.

Marge Champion performs the song in the movie Three for the Show in 1955.

An instrumental version was played in Woody Allen's 1979 film Manhattan during the famous Queensboro Bridge scene.

The 1983 movie Deal of the Century opens with a promotional video for a military plane featuring "Someone to Watch Over Me", sung by Nikka Costa.

The 1987 movie Someone To Watch Over Me, directed by Ridley Scott, takes its title from this song. The soundtrack features three versions of "Someone to Watch Over Me", two of which were new renditions by Sting and Roberta Flack. The third version used was the 1961 recording by Gene Ammons. A soundtrack album was never issued and so the Roberta Flack performance (produced by Michael Kamen) remains unreleased. Sting included his version as a b-side for the "Englishman in New York" single, and on the compilation At The Movies, released in 1999.

Another 1987 film, Beyond Therapy, used the tune, sung by Yves Montand, in its opening sequence.[8]

This song was made famous to another generation in the 1995 American movie Mr. Holland's Opus. Jean Louisa Kelly played the part of Rowena, who sang "Someone to Watch Over Me" in this movie; however, a different version of the song sung by Julia Fordham was included on the movie soundtrack.

In 2001, the song was included in the original movie soundtrack of a Filipino movie entitled Pangako Ikaw Lang which stars Regine Velasquez and Aga Muhlach. The song was sung by Velasquez' character and her father, played by veteran actor Robert Arevalo, in a certain movie sequence.

Asher Book also sings it in the 2009 remake of Fame.

Featured in television

"Someone to Watch Over Me" was featured extensively in an episode of the television series Battlestar Galactica. The episode, also titled "Someone to Watch Over Me", featured a piano player who played the song in "Joe's Bar".

In Star Trek: Voyager, "Someone to Watch Over Me" was the title of an episode, with the song featuring at the climax and end of the episode. It is also heard in piano sequences played by The Doctor.

Nancy Wilson, playing character Sugar Francis, briefly sang the song in the February 28, 1973 Search episode "The Mattson Papers".

The song was sung twice briefly by Arnold Rimmer in an episode of the long-running science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf. The episode, "Thanks for the Memory", originally aired on 20 September 1988. "That was going to be our song," the character confides, expressing regret at putting his own (dismal) career ahead of finding love. "But I never found her. So now it's just my song."

Officer John Sullivan (Skipp Sudduth) tickles the ivories to impress his date, playing "Someone to Watch Over Me", in Season 2, Episode 12, of "Third Watch", episode entitled "True Love", which aired January 22,2001.

Liz Torres performed the song to her own piano playing in the episode, "It's a Wonderful Leap – May 10, 1958" of Quantum Leap, which originally aired on April 1, 1992. In this episode, Torres appeared as "Angelita Carmen Guadalupe Cecelia Jiminez", an angel. Dr. Sam Beckett is in the body of a cabbie who is destined to be shot trying to win a NYC cab medallion. Angelita plays the song for the cabbie's father, a widower; it was "their song" for the father and his late wife. (The title of the episode is a reference to Frank Capra's movie, It's a Wonderful Life.)[original research?]

It served as the background music for the finale episode of the second season of Friends entitled "The One With Barry and Mindy's Wedding".

Katharine McPhee also performed the song on American Idol, during the show's fifth Season in 2006. Allison Iraheta performed the song in American Idol Season 8, as a Top 5 contestant in 2009. In 2010, Seth Rollins sang on auditions for Season 9.

In the episode "The Ghost Network" of the television series Fringe, Peter Bishop plays the song on the piano to his partner Olivia Dunham.

In the episode "Ben There, Done That" of the television series (Series 2, Episode 24) The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Madison Cooperstein (Renee Olstead), sings the song at the end of the show at Leo and Betty's wedding.

In an episode of Cold Case entitled "Wings", the Frank Sinatra version of the song appeared at the end of the episode.

Lady Gaga performed it on the Today Show during their summer concert series on July 9, 2010.

In the episode "New York" of the television series (Season 2, Episode 22) Glee, the instrumental melody is played as Finn meets Rachel at Central Park.

In the episode "Baby, It's Cold Inside" of the television series WKRP in Cincinnati, Mama Carlson (Carol Bruce) sings the song to the staff in the bull pen after making Johnny Fever play Gershwin on the air.

Prominently featured in the remake of Fame (2009).

In the eighth season premiere of American Dad! entitled "Love, AD Style", the Rachael MacFarlane version was featured towards the beginning as her character Hayley Smith is heard singing it in the shower. However, she is interrupted by Roger barging in; her voice inspires him to hire her as a singer for the attic bar he is opening up.

Episode 19 of season 2 of Frasier is entitled "Someone To Watch Over Me." The episode deals with what Frasier believes to be a stalker; the song is not featured.


"Someone to Watch Over Me" is played during the first season of the television show the Outer Limits, episode "Worlds Apart".

See also