Pink Martini's Dark Take on a Doris Day Classic

Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes i i

Pink Martini includes music director Thomas Lauderdale (left) and lead singer China Forbes. Adam Levey hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Levey
Thomas Lauderdale and China Forbes

Pink Martini

Adam Levey

Whatever Will Be ...

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Pink Martini, Live at NPR

Doris Day (1956)

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Song
Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
Album
Sentimental Journey, Vol. 4
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Rhino
Released
1969

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Part 2 of the Interview

First of two parts.

You probably know it as such a happy song. But Doris Day's "Que Sera Sera," as performed by Pink Martini, might make you feel downright blue.

The group has a dozen players known for almost perfect musicianship, singing in many languages — and a slightly demented sense of humor.

Lead singer China Forbes explains the group's version of "Que Sera Sera" from the 1997 album, Sympathique:

"We take a song that is very familiar and completely turn it upside down and put it in [a minor key] and make it dark," she tells Steve Inskeep.

That might be what "Que Sera Sera" has always deserved.

Pink Martini's music director, Thomas Lauderdale, notes that this dippy tune comes from Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much, which revolves around a kidnapped child. The film starred Doris Day, who sang the original version of "Whatever Will Be, Will Be."

"It was written specifically for the film, and Doris Day hated the song, according to folklore," Lauderdale says. "But, of course, it became her huge hit. I feel like that song is both melancholy and hopeful."

On Tuesday, we'll hear music from the new CD Hey Eugene! as the group performed it in NPR's Studio 4A.

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Sympathique

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Album
Sympathique
Artist
Pink Martini
Label
Heinz Records
Released
1997

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Hey Eugene!

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Album
Hey Eugene!
Artist
Pink Martini
Label
Heinz Records
Released
2007

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