“And then I go and spoil it all
By saying something stupid like ‘I love you’”
In the midst of my jazz/blues phase, I got caught up in some of Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits, one of which has had me in its grips for a while.
Something Stupid was originally by Carson Parks in 1966 and recorded by him and his wife, Gaile Foote. The love song was popularized by Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy Sinatra in 1967, accompanied by a guitar, a drum and arrangements. It was made sultrier by Robin Williams ft. Nicole Kidman.
“And if we go someplace to dance, I know that there’s a chance
You won’t be leaving with me
And afterwards we drop into a quiet little place and have a drink or two
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like ‘I love you’ ”
The 2-minute song depicts a man and woman enjoying their time together, so much so that they’ve fallen in love and can’t help but say “I love you”, probably too early, they believe. The duet makes it out to be less of a one-sided romantic experience.
“I can see it in your eyes
That you despise the same old lies you’ve heard the night before
And though it’s just a line to you, for me it’s true
And never seemed so right before”
Despite his being so deeply in love with her, he’s not blind to her hesitation to feel the same way. But that doesn’t stop him from feeling the way he does, feeling as if every puzzle had been put in place by being around her.
“I practice every day to find some clever lines to say
To make the meaning come through
But then I think I’ll wait until the evening gets late and I’m alone with you
The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and, oh, the night’s so blue
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like ‘I love you’”
Impressing her is so important that he practices days on end what he’ll say to her before they meet again, intending for it to be deep and heartfelt. But a whiff of her and he forgets everything he planned. I particularly loved this line because of the setting it depicts of what I imagine to be a 60’s love film. The “I love you” is repeated, signifying an emphasis of his love for her.
I couldn’t figure out why I developed a fondness for this tune, until I realized it was the mix of jazz, blues and pop. Dipped with Nancy’s low, husky and hauntingly beautiful voice and her father’s light Italian baritone, both of them singing behind the instruments, the song was made melodic for its allure.