The Songs of Summer #100: ‘Summer Wind’ by Frank Sinatra
I’ve saved the best for (nearly) last. No, this isn’t the end of the Songs of Summer…we’ve still got a few short days left before this little experiment wraps up, but this song…THIS song…This is the big one. My favorite summer song of all time. (I think I’ve said that about some of the other Songs of Summer, but this time I really do mean it.) There’s little I can say here about Frank Sinatra that hasn’t been said a billion times before. The man was a legend. And this song, perhaps just as well as any other song he ever sang, proves what a gigantic talent he was.
‘Summer Wind‘ was recorded in 1966, and included on Frank’s massive album Strangers in the Night. Music by Heinz Meier and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Nelson Riddle’s orchestra plays (and swings, dammit do they gently swing this thing)…they wrote the tune, and they played the tune, but my God, it’s Frank’s song all the way. There’s nobody on Earth who could’ve sung this song like Ol’ Blue Eyes…what can I say, the man could turn a phrase, couldn’t he? I mean just listen to him OWN this song. ‘Summer Wind‘ is a song about summer love (like all the great Songs of Summer are), a love that’s been lost, and it’s being remembered fondly by the narrator, and only Frank Sinatra, with that voice, that voice that by 1966 was 51 years old and had been steeped in Jack Daniels and cigarette smoke for decades, could sing with such poignant conviction that the listener is right there on that summer beach with him, reliving those old romantic memories of summers gone by. You can feel that summer wind blowing in from across the sea. It lingers. Just like this song.
Summer’s almost gone, but like every summer, there will always be the memories.