Song Lyric Sunday | “Theme from A Summer Place” – Percy Faith & his Orchestra

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “Seasons/Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall.”


Let me tell you a story. 😀

The Theme from A Summer Place is from the 1959 movie of the same name starring Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. Based on the book, also of the same name, the movie is about teenage lovers from different social classes who get back together twenty years later, and then must deal with the passionate love affair of their own teenage children by previous marriages. It wasn’t a blockbuster or award winner, and unless you were Dee, Donahue, or McGuire fans, the movie was pretty forgettable.

Though Mack Discant penned lyrics to Max Steiner’s musical score, only an instrumental version was used for the movie, and like the movie, pretty forgettable.

However, a few months later, Percy Faith wrote a new instrumental arrangement for his orchestra and recorded a cover in late 1959. The song again was not an immediate success, entering the bottom of the Billboard chart in December of 1959.

Stay with me, we’re getting to the good part!

The song grew in popularity and by February 22, 1960, it was the number one song in the country! And, it stayed there for NINE weeks, which means… it was the number one song in the country on the day I was born—March 1, 1960! How cool is that?  😀

Theme from A Summer Place won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1961 making it the first movie theme and the first instrumental to win a Record of the Year Grammy.

Faith re-recorded the song twice: first, in 1969, as a female choral version, then, in 1976, as a disco version titled Summer Place ’76.

In 2008, Faith’s original version was ranked at #18 on Billboard‘s top 100 songs during the first 50 years of the Hot 100 chart. The Billboard Book of Number One Hits called it “the most successful instrumental single of the rock era.”


  • The Faith version reached #2 in the UK. It was also a #1 hit in Italy under the title Scandalo Al Sole.
  • Faith’s record would not be broken until 1977, when You Light Up My Life spent ten weeks at #1.
  • Other songs did break the record prior to the 1958 creation of the Billboard Hot 100 chart; The Beatles’ Hey Jude tied, but did not break, the nine-week record in 1968.
  • It remains the longest-running #1 instrumental in the history of the chart. Billboard ranked Faith’s version as the Number One song for 1960.
  • Theme From A Summer Place has been covered countless times, with and without the lyrics (included below).

You’d think a video of a sixty-year-old song wouldn’t be found on the Internet, right?


Audio and video have been edited and restored to the video of Percy Faith & his Orchestra playing Theme From a Summer Place.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.



Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
 Theme frOm A Summer Place
by Percy Faith & his Orchestra
Songwriters: Mack Discant, Max Steiner
There’s a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I’m safe and warm
For within that summer place
Your arms reach out to me
And my heart is free from all care
For it knows
There are no gloomy skies
When seen through the eyes
Of those who are blessed with love
And the sweet secret of
A summer place
Is that it’s anywhere
When two people share
All their hopes
All their dreams
All their love
There’s a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I’m safe and warm
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms


7 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday | “Theme from A Summer Place” – Percy Faith & his Orchestra

  1. It is a very nice song and I loved your write-up as you gave me the ambition to look up the #1 song on the day I was born. Mine came out to be Teresa Brewer Till I Waltz Again With You.


    • Agreed! But everything was all about perception and what was “seen” in public. Some musicians of color got their “professional” start as studio musicians. You heard but never saw them. 😉 Thanks for stopping by! 😊


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