I’d never heard Charles Trenet’s original version of La Mer (better known as Beyond the Sea in the US) until fairly recently, and I must say I’m sad it took me this long to hear the original. It’s a beautiful song in either language, but the French just has certain melancholy vibe that English versions can’t match.
For some comparison, check the extended for Cliff Richard’s version of La Mer, and then hop across the language barrier for Bobby Darin, Robbie Williams, and Ewan McGregor’s take on the timeless tune. I wish I could find a clip of a version I heard on Vinyl Cafe a month or two back, as Nicole Stoffman’s Jazz Boheme turned in a take that just floored me. Oh well.