Monday, July 13, 2015

Steyn on Frank: Ahh, The Apple Trees

What a lovely essay. 

The whole thing is beautiful, but the end nearly made me cry, and I really had to fight the tears, because I'm a big girl and gosh darn it even the great Mark Steyn talking about Frank Sinatra and 9/11 and when the world was young is not going to make my mascara run first thing in the morning SO THERE.

(OK, I must confess, my eyes were not totally dry, andI was tearing up a little so ladies, that's what waterproof make up is for, YOU'RE WELCOME.)

"Not quite a decade and a half ago I was noodling around early one Tuesday morning working on a little Sinatra project and looking up "When The World Was Young" and suddenly noticing that it had been recorded exactly 40 years ago that day: 1961, on September 11th. About 20 minutes later, the first plane sliced through the World Trade Center, and the world was no longer young.
Ah, the apple trees
Sunlit memories
Where the hammock swung
On our backs we'd lie
Looking at the sky
Till the stars were strung
Only last July
When The World Was Young..."

There's also a nice little extra bonus life advice nugget here, buried deep within the totally unique and comprehensive Steynian musical analysis:

"If you want an important song, get an important writer." 


The Sinatra version is wonderful, but I also really love Eydie Gorme's gorgeous clarity, and Mel's version as well. 

As a bonus, here's a nice article from The Jerusalem Post talking about Frank's relationship to Israel, doing it his way: 

When the world was young indeed:

"Was Frank Sinatra a Zionist? I’d have to say yes, in the sense that he supported the idea of a Jewish state even before there was one. Was he a Zionist in the sense that he devoted his career and all of his money to Israel? No, he wasn’t. I’ve heard him described as a Catholic Zionist, although I wouldn’t call him devout, he was a serious Catholic. One of the points I make in my talk is that he was a liberal of his time. For a liberal in the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, Zionism was part of a worldview that had to do with taking care of persecuted groups of people. He was also for Black Americans and Puerto Rican rights."

"For him, it was all part of a package. That package isn’t around anymore; it’s an old package."