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The best songs inspired by the sea

By Emily Smith, CNN
December 8, 2011 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
American singer and film actor Bobby Darin sang "Beyond the Sea," which has been covered by numerous artists over six decades. American singer and film actor Bobby Darin sang "Beyond the Sea," which has been covered by numerous artists over six decades.
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The best seaside tunes
The best seaside tunes
The best seaside tunes
The best seaside tunes
The best seaside tunes
The best seaside tunes
The best seaside tunes
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • MainSail looks at what could feature on your seaside playlist
  • This list includes hits from The Beach Boys to Led Zeppelin
  • What are your favorite sea-inspired tunes? Tell us below

Editor's note: Editor's note: MainSail is CNN's monthly sailing show, exploring the sport of sailing, luxury travel and the latest in design and technology.

(CNN) -- Forget sitting by a roaring fire as snow falls outside -- for many there's no better place to celebrate the festive season than by the water's edge on a warm summer's evening.

But if you can't escape the cold to hit the ocean this year, these songs will help you to forget the chill and take you to the sea, wherever you may be.

We've got your seaside playlist covered. But what's your favorite sea-inspired tune? Let us know in the comments below.

"Beyond the Sea," Bobby Darin

No sea-inspired playlist would be complete without this song. "Beyond the Sea" has been sung by many artists over the past six decades, but Bobby Darin's version is undoubtedly the most famous. Despite the performer recording the song in the late 1950s, it's been used in many recent films from "Austin Powers" to "Finding Nemo." Fellow actors Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz sung "Beyond the Sea" in the film "A Life Less Ordinary," while Kevin Spacey lent his vocal chords to it in a biopic about Darrin named after his most famous song.

"Sail on Sailor," The Beach Boys

It's hard to go past The Beach Boys when compiling a list of seaside classics. The group -- made up of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, along with Mike Love and Al Jardine -- are synonymous with beach tunes and surfing hits. "Sail on Sailor" was released on the 1973 album "Holland," one of the last albums the Californian pop group released.

"Under the Sea," from Disney's "The Little Mermaid"

While perhaps not a traditional party song, it is a childhood favorite for many. In the movie, mermaid princess Aerial longs to join the human world above the water's surface. However, the king's advisor, a lobster called Sebastian, tries to convince her otherwise, singing to her about the joys of ocean life, telling her "darling it's better, down where it's wetter."

"Octopus's Garden," The Beatles

The fab four recorded this song for their 1969 album "Abbey Road." Unusually for The Beatles, this song was written by drummer Ringo Starr, who was also the lead vocalist on the track. The upbeat tune tells of the carefree nature of an octopus's life below the surface, featuring lyrics such as "in our little hideaway beneath the waves, resting our head on the sea bed."

"(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," Otis Redding

This was the last song recorded by Redding before he was killed in a plane crash in 1967. It was released after his death and was the first posthumous song to reach the number-one spot on the U.S charts. Redding was also posthumously awarded a Grammy for the song in 1968. He was inspired to write the soulful masterpiece after staying on a houseboat in California.

"The Ocean," Led Zeppelin

British rock band Led Zeppelin penned this tune in the early 1970s at the height of their success. It's believed the band were referring to their "ocean of fans" when they wrote this song, with lyrics such as "singing to an ocean, I can hear the ocean's roar." But it's just as easy for a keen seafarer to imagine dramatic ocean waves when listening to this tune.

"Girl and the Sea," The Presets

For a change of pace, this tune could be perfect to get your party started. By electro-pop act The Presets, "Girl and the Sea" is guaranteed to get people on the dance floor. It's said the duo recorded this song, their debut, in the bathroom of their home.

"Mermaid in the Night," Jimmy Buffett

For those who appreciate country music, Jimmy Buffet's "Mermaid in the Night" is the perfect ocean-inspired song. It appears on the 1989 album "Off to see the Lizard," just one of the more than 30 albums Buffet has released. This fun tune tells of the singer falling in love with a mermaid while fishing one evening, with lyrics like "I'm in love with a creature from the sea, she brings out the crustacean in me".

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