Sunday, September 11, 2005



In the 1960s foxy Nancy Sinatra and ultra-deep voiced Lee Hazelwood collaborated on a number of mad, ballady songs together - if this was to be called a genre it would be "Candy". I discovered one such Candy number called "Summer Wine" on an old Nancy album. Like many of my favourite songs, it's a little story in itself - a mini tragidrama about lust, money, greed and betrayal (all in just under 4 minutes).

It's the silliest song ever, about this dumb butch cowboy who rides into town wearing a pair of silver spurs. Then he spots Nancy who promises him a good time (the forward little madam). That night she gets him drunk on "summer wine", which must have contained some early prototype of Rohypnol, because when poor cowboy wakes up hours later - the sun is shining in his eyes, his silver spurs are gone and his head feels twice its size. She took his silver spurs, a dollar and a dime. And left the idiot craving for more summer wine.

Thanks to Itunes, I've been able to satiate my desire for even more Nancy and Lee. There's "Lady Bird" (I'm not exactly sure what it's about though - the lyrics are too deep and philosophical - I think it's all an allegory, at least Nancy ends it with one of her naughty giggles), and "Down From Dover" (taboo-challenging sex-before-wedlock results-in-pregnancy song: Lee worries: "she won't have a name to give it, if I don't hurry down from Dover!", while Nancy opines "I know this dress I'm wearing doesn't hide the secret I've tried concealing". This one has a rather nasty sting in the last verse.

Lee wasn't the only fella who dueted with Nancy (she also did Life's A Trippy Thing with her Dad Frank - a song about how they don't need drugs to have a good time), but her stuff with Lee is the most intense and dramatic - pure candy at its best. Go Nancy!

3 comments:

matins said...

Beleive it or not, the album that Nancy released last year is surprisingly good as well. I saw her a few years ago play at a small club. She covered Prince's "Purple Rain" and wore a small pin covered in diamons that read ROCK. Yeah, go Nancy!

mike said...

Nancy & Lee also had a solitary UK hit single: the glorious, saucy, surreal "Did You Ever?".

William John said...

I LOVE that song! My mum made me download the lyrics and I was made to sing a duet with her... sigh...

in fact, I've got a few of their songs... not all so catchy... "some Monday morning when I'm straight" comes to mind...

William John.