This Friday’s song is It Was A Very Good Year by Frank Sinatra. The song was written by Ervin Drake in 1961 and originally recorded by the Kingston Trio. Sinatra released his version as a single in 1965. The “B” side was Moment to Moment. It was released on the September of My Years album later in 1965.
This song has a nostalgic, yet melancholy feel. The singer is older, “in the autumn of the year”, and thinks back on the romances that defined key stages of his life. He remembers “small-town girls on the village green” when he was 17, “city girls who lived upstairs” when he was 21, and “blue-blooded girls of independent means” when he was 35. He uses the metaphor of “vintage wine” as he thinks back on these key people and moments in his life.
Sinatra had just turned fifty when the song was released. He was at the height of his popularity. The song won the Grammy for Best Male Vocal Performance in 1966. My family had moved back to Greater Boston from Long Island in 1964. We were living in Saugus, MA. My mother was a Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra fan, so Sinatra’s music was on the radio and phonograph pretty often.
I have included the official release track and live performance video below. Hope you enjoy It Was A Very Good Year by Frank Sinatra.