Crooning

Have you ever come across a previously unheard version of a song that instantly brings a smile to your face and lifts your spirits? I had just such an experience last night while grading papers. I was listening to some music on my YouTube Music app when Frank Sinatra’s version of Paul Simon’s “Mrs. Robinson” popped up:

It was, as the Brits would say, brilliant. The Chairman of the Board took the song and made it his own. I especially liked the altered lyrics. A sample:

The PTA, Mrs. Robinson
Won’t OK the way you do your thing
Ding, ding, ding

And you’ll get yours, Mrs. Robinson
Foolin’ with that young stuff like you do
Boo, hoo, hoo, woo, woo, woo

Attending a Frank Sinatra concert back in the day must’ve been a blast. While I and others of Generation X might recall Sinatra as being a favorite of our grandparents’, there was a time when he had a devoted following amongst teenage girls. Back in grad school, I was doing some research for a professor who had me looking at issues of Atlanta newspapers from the late 1940s, and there was one specific article that caught my eye. It was a report of a riot at one of his concerts by throngs of “Bobby Soxers”, as his teen girl fans were called. It was Beatlemania nearly two decades before Beatlemania existed.

As the saying goes, history does not repeat itself, but it does like to rhyme. And no one could rhyme better than Ol’ Blue Eyes.

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3 thoughts on “Crooning”

  1. Dude, I know you watched cartoons when you were a kid. This is how I knew Frankie was a chick magnet.

    Now personally, I’d rather listen to Bing.

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  2. Growing up in Jersey we were supposed to like Bruce and Frank. Never liked Springsteen, but Sinatra is one of greatest. Not just the voice but the attitude. Who else could pull off the lyrical changes you mention above:

    The PTA, Mrs. Robinson
    Won’t OK the way you do your thing
    Ding, ding, ding

    And you’ll get yours, Mrs. Robinson
    Foolin’ with that young stuff like you do
    Boo, hoo, hoo, woo, woo, woo

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  3. Vance:
    Growing up in Jersey we were supposed to like Bruce and Frank. Never liked Springsteen, but Sinatra is one of greatest. Not just the voice but the attitude. Who else could pull off the lyrical changes you mention above:

    The PTA, Mrs. Robinson
    Won’t OK the way you do your thing
    Ding, ding, ding

    And you’ll get yours, Mrs. Robinson
    Foolin’ with that young stuff like you do
    Boo, hoo, hoo, woo, woo, woo

    I remember that one of Ricochet’s early contributors – Tommy De Seno – was from Asbury Park, New Jersey, prominently mentioned in Sinatra’s “At Long Last Love.”

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