Saturday, September 26, 2015

#27: A flawed masterpiece

"Only The Lonely" was written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn and arranged by Nelson Riddle for the album of the same name. If you'd rather not hear complaints about the lyrics, just have a listen and skip my comments below.

I'm pretty confident that Mark Steyn is going to give this a slot on his Sinatra Century list, so I'll try to come back and update later on. Mark has some little, small problems with the lyrics which you can hear about here. I share those, but I'm even more bothered by "each fun time," an awkward, banal, earthbound phrase which strikes me as jarringly wrong for the notes they're paired with and for the tone of the song as a whole.

But "fun time" rhymes with "the one time," and I can't imagine the song without these poignant lines:
It well could be the one time
A hopeless little dream like that comes true
With all its faults, I love it still, enough to rank it in my top thirty.


  1. I agree with your take on the clunkiness of that phrase in the lyrics but love the song because of the tricky melody, Riddle's arrangement and the subtle way Sinatra handles it. Definitely one of my favorites.