Monday Notes

Nancy Sinatra, Somethin’ Stupid. A duet between father and daughter

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Leggi in Italiano

[Monday Notes No. 69] As with most children of the arts, it must not have been easy for Nancy Sinatra to take on the singing profession. However, in 1967, Nancy performed a lovely duet with her father Frank Sinatra entitled Somethin’ Stupid, which was an immediate and lasting success. Let us analyze this beautiful song.

Somethin’ Stupid shows the skills of the young performer who in fact went on to have a successful career, also thanks to a careful choice of the repertoire. Nancy Sinatra stayed away from the great American classics already sung by her father and turned instead to pop songs from the sixties.

Somethin’ Stupid offers many interesting ideas. Instead of alternating as is often the case in duets, the two melodic lines are homorhythmic and perfectly overlapping. Another unusual thing, the main part is not the highest part played by the female voice but the lower part.

We also observe that the upper voice almost always plays repeated notes (measures 1-8), when it finally decides to sing something different (measures 9-10) the phrase is particularly striking.

Somethin’ Stupid, the two melodic lines

Le due linee melodiche di Something Stupid

Also delightful are the lyrics of the song that take up a classic theme: that of the hopeless love. Other songs of this genre are: Everything Happens To Me, The Boy Next Door, Darn That Dream.

The song describes a lover who on a first date is awkward and does not know what to say, he tries to impress in every way and finally says something stupid: “I love you!”. The fact that the two voices sing the same words simultaneously, however, adds a different meaning: both feel the same fear and embarrassment, their love is thus mutual.

The duet is lighthearted and optimistic, in the words as much as in the music, and is perhaps the greatest success ever achieved by a parent-child duo. Frank and Nancy Sinatra are not at all embarrassed to sing a love song together, they even manage to express the tenderness and complicity of the father-daughter relationship, offering an exceptionally sweet duet.

Until next Monday

Download the sheet music with the transcription of the song

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