Que Será, Será

The best one liner on life?

I love one liners. They pack a punch. Even better if they’re following a literary device like an alleteration or oxymoron. Always aim at alletrations.

One of my favourite is Que Será, Será.

The phrase comes from Doris Day song titled the same.

It translates to Whatever will be, will be.
It is used as an exclamatory phrase when one is hit with the realisation that life is pre-deterministic. What’s so great about it is that its enunciation is so musical, and it conveys such a profound message: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

The phrase is mistaken to be Spanish, but it first appeared in a 16th century English heraldic motto. It made its way into Spanish and Italian family crests, and to the British play, Doctor Faustus with the Italian spelling[1] .

But as Lee Hartman points out, “ The saying is always in an English-speaking context, and has no history in Spain, Italy, or France, and in fact is ungrammatical in all three Romance languages. It is composed of Spanish or Italian words superimposed on English syntax.”[2]

Jay Livingston, one of the writers of the song came across the phrase in the 1954 movie The Barefoot Contessa. The fictional Italian family in the movie have the quote as their family motto. Mr Livingston jotted it down and then converted the ‘Che Sera Sera’ (Italian) to ‘Que Sera Sera’ (Spanish) because quote, “There are so many Spanish people in the world.”[3]

The song eventually topped the charts in numerous countries and went on to win the Oscars in 1956. Doris Day has gone down in history as the singer of Que Sera Sera. The song has been remade in numerous languages, notably Kay Sara Sara in Hindi with Prabhudeva and Madhuri Dixit’s great choreography. Yours truly also danced to this song (if she remembers right) for her 4th grade school dance.

It still baffles me how this all came to be. The fact that the phrase is still massively popular, and got pulled out of obscurity through unexpected circumstances.

Que Sera Sera – the self fulfilling prophecy.

Consequently, the whole notion of free will begins to crumble when you accept the quote. This is a bitter pill for me to swallow most times. What’s the point of doing anything if I am the protagonist of this story, not the writer?

Clearly, excessive reliance of a quote like this can be burdensome. And I say this because I have a disposition to become this way.

So the importance of this quote is to offer respite –

-and to not take yourself too seriously, one way or another.

Moot point, Raksha. This post is already too serious. Skittles anyone?

Sources:
GIF
Image

Footnotes

[1] http://mypage.siu.edu/lhartman/k…

[2] http://mypage.siu.edu/lhartman/k…

[3] http://Pomerance, Murray (2001),…

This post first appeared as an answer to a question on Quora
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