Song Thoughts: Somewhere My Love

“Somewhere My Love” was my grandmother’s favorite song. It has been a long time since I listened to its sweeping melody. It popped up on an Apple Shuffle the other day and got me to thinking.

“Somewhere My Love (“Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago”), is the first song I remember from early childhood. It was my Grandma Moody’s favorite and my gateway song into the world of music. It was the most played song on the jukebox that lived in the back corner of her little roadside diner, Moody’s Drive-In, which was located in the small town of Atchison, Kansas. She would often take one of her special, red-polish painted quarters from its secret place and feed it to the “stax of wax” while she was cleaning and closing up for the evening. I spent many beloved hours with her at that ol’ rusty spoon and it helped to spawn my love of music. An accomplished piano player, my grandmother loved songs with great melodies and sweeping arrangements. I loved to watch her listen to that song. She was immediately transported to a different place and time. Sometimes she smiled. Sometimes she choked back tears. The song evoked such intense emotion from her that I was always hesitant to ask what the song meant to her. So I never did. A regret I live with to this day. Anytime I hear “Somewhere My Love”, I think of my grandmother and I am immediately transported back to that old diner with her. 

You’ll come to me out of the long-ago

Warm as the wind, soft as the kiss of snow

Written in 1965 by Maurice Jarre and Paul Francis Webster, the main musical melody was composed to accompany the character Lara in the film “Dr. Zhivago” and was later expanded into the song “Somewhere My Love” by Ray Conniff in 1966. Ray Conniff’s song reached #9 on the Billboard Top Ten and was denied a Grammy by Lennon and McCartney’s “Michelle”. Singer Connie Francis also recorded the song, but it was not a hit for her in America as Ray and his singers beat her to the punch and stole her thunder, but it was a big hit for Francis in Europe and Asia. Popular among singers and crooners, “Somewhere My Love” has been covered by Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Liberace, Jim Nabors, and Harry Connick Jr. to name a few. I don’t remember which version was on my grandmother’s jukebox, but I am fairly certain it was Ray Conniff and the Singers. 

Ray Conniff played a big part in my musical development. My mother had several Ray Conniff albums and most of them contained covers of hit songs of the day. I still recall a conversation I had with my mother one day back in the Seventies.

“Mama, why do you and Grandma like Ray and his singers so much?”

“Two reasons. We love his song arrangements and I can buy an album that contains nine or ten good hits for the low price of $3.00 to $4.00. It would cost a lot more to buy the singles or albums to hear each song.”  Buying a Ray Conniff album was cost efficient and filled our house with music. 

Today, many faded moons from that time of innocence, “Somewhere My Love” holds a special place in my heart. When I am missing the maternal influence of mother and grandmother, visiting that song warms my heart with thoughts of both gentle spirits. 

My grandmother, Ilo Moody, on the last day at her diner, Moody’s Drive-In. Atchison, Kansas. Photo by Kaye Vessar.

© 2023 Gregory Vessar. A Thousand Miles from Kansas. All Rights Reserved.

Somewhere My Love (Lara’s Themes from Dr. Zhivago).
Categories: Family, Memoir, MusicTags: , , ,


  1. Very interesting story! Mark said his mom used to sing that to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We all have those songs and memories..nice work buddy!!

    Liked by 1 person

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