"Cavatina" is a classical guitar piece by Stanley Myers and the theme from The Deer Hunter.
The piece had been recorded by classical guitarist John Williams,
long before the film that made it famous. It had originally been
written for piano but at Williams' invitation, Myers re-wrote it for
guitar and expanded it. After this transformation, it was first used for
the film, The Walking Stick (1970). In 1973, Cleo Laine wrote lyrics and recorded the song as "He Was Beautiful", accompanied by John Williams himself.
Following the release of The Deer Hunter in 1978, Williams'
instrumental version of "Cavatina" became a UK Top 20 hit. Two other
versions also made the Top 20 the same year - another instrumental
recording by The Shadows, with an electric guitar played by Hank Marvin, released on their album String of Hits
with the name "Theme from The Deer Hunter" (number 9 in the UK singles
charts and number 1 in The Netherlands); and a vocal version (using Cleo
Laine's lyrics) by Iris Williams.
The song was also recorded by Paul Potts on his debut album, One Chance.
There is a gospel version set to Cavatina called "Beautiful"; the author is Billy Evmur and it appears in the Dove On A Distant Oak Tree collection. Another vocal version with different lyrics was recorded by Vince Hill (released on the compilation The Ember Records Story Vol. 2 - 1960-1979).
In 2009, the song formed the tenth track of Camilla Kerslake's début album Camilla Kerslake.
In 2011, the song was recorded by singer Joe McElderry and guitarist Milos Karadaglic for McElderry's second album, Classic.