Some Velvet Morning

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"Some Velvet Morning"
Some Velvet Morning.jpg
Cover of the 1967 US single
Single by Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood
from the album Movin' With Nancy
B-side "Oh, Lonesome Me"
ReleasedDecember 1967 (1967-12)
Genre Psychedelic pop
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Lee Hazlewood [1]
Producer(s) Lee Hazlewood
Nancy Sinatra singles chronology
"Tony Rome"
"Some Velvet Morning"
Audio sample
"Some Velvet Morning"

"Some Velvet Morning" is a song written by Lee Hazlewood and originally recorded by Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra in late 1967. It first appeared on Sinatra's album Movin' with Nancy, the soundtrack to her 1967 television special of the same name, which also featured a performance of the song. It was subsequently released as a single before appearing on the 1968 album, Nancy & Lee. [2]



The male part of the song is in 4/4 time signature whereas the female part is in 3/4. Lee's voice is recorded with more reverberation than Nancy's, making it sound bi-dimensional.

The recording session

Nancy Sinatra after the makeover recommended by Hazelwood Nancy Sinatra (1971).png
Nancy Sinatra after the makeover recommended by Hazelwood

Sinatra's singing career received a boost in 1967 with the help of songwriter/producer/arranger Lee Hazlewood, who had been making records for ten years, notably with Duane Eddy. Hazlewood's collaboration with Nancy began when Frank Sinatra asked Lee to help boost his daughter's career. [3]

Sinatra joined Hazelwood at Capitol Studio in Los Angeles in the fall of 1967 for a three hour session. The recording was produced by Hazelwood while Billy Strange was the arranger. According to one review, overdubbing was not used. Instead, the duo "recorded the entire song live with the band, the full orchestra and Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra singing all at the same time". [4]

Interpretation of the lyrics

Every reviewer has their own take on the meaning of the song. A British journalist said that "the puzzle of its lyrics and otherworldly beauty of its sound offering seemingly endless interpretations". [5] Lee Hazelwood's was less definitive than some others'. [6]

"It’s not meant to mean so much. I’m not a druggie, so it was never to do with that" [but added that he was inspired by Greek mythology]. "I thought they were a lot better than all those fairy tales that came from Germany that had killings and knifings. There was only about seven lines about Phaedra. She had a sad middle, a sad end, and by the time she was 17 she was gone. She was a sad-assed broad, the saddest of all Greek goddesses. So bless her heart, she deserves some notoriety, so I’ll put her in a song."

In 2003, London's The Daily Telegraph called the song, "One of the strangest, druggiest, most darkly sexual songs ever written - ambitious, beautiful and unforgettable." [7] As with many psychedelic songs, its overall meaning is somewhat obscure. The lyrics consist of the male part describing a mysterious, powerful woman named Phaedra, who "gave [him] life … and ... made it end". The male part alternates with the female part, who identifies herself as Phaedra and speaks over ethereal, twinkling music about beautiful nature imagery and about the secrets held by an unknown collective "us." The rhythm shifts from 4/4 for the male parts to 3/4 for the female parts.

Chart performance

Although "Some Velvet Morning" is one of the more famous duets Hazlewood and Sinatra recorded together, it is considered a departure from their usual fare, as it is decidedly less influenced by country and western music. The single peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1968. [8]


Selective list of cover versions

The song has been covered many times, usually as a duet. Among other recordings:

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"Jackson" is a song written in 1963 by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber and first recorded by Wheeler. It is best known from two 1967 releases: a pop hit single by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, which reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 39 Easy Listening, and a country hit single by Johnny Cash and June Carter, which reached number two on the Billboard Country Singles chart and has become more appreciated by non-country audiences in recent years as a result of Cash's continued popularity and its use in the 2011 film The Help.

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"Summer Wine" is a song written by Lee Hazlewood. It was originally sung by Suzi Jane Hokom and Lee Hazlewood in 1966, but it was made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood in 1967. The Nancy & Lee version was originally released on Sinatra's Nancy in London album in late 1966 and later as the B-side of her "Sugar Town" single in December 1966. The song itself became a hit, reaching #49 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in April 1967. It also reached #14 in Australia. In early 1968 "Summer Wine" was included on Sinatra and Hazlewood's album of duets, Nancy & Lee LP. It was the first of Sinatra and Hazlewood's string hit duets.

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Movin' with Nancy is the soundtrack album to Nancy Sinatra's 1967 television special of the same name, released on Reprise Records in 1967. It features guest appearances from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Lee Hazlewood. Arranged and conducted by Billy Strange, the album was produced by Lee Hazlewood. It peaked at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart. "Some Velvet Morning" was released as a single from the album.

My Elusive Dreams 1967 single by Tammy Wynette and David Houston

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  2. Elemental and enigmatic — the mystery of Some Velvet Morning
  3. Elemental and enigmatic — the mystery of Some Velvet Morning
  4. Some Velvet Morning, by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra
  5. Elemental and enigmatic — the mystery of Some Velvet Morning
  6. Some Velvet Morning, by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra
  7. "50 Best Duets Ever: Some Velvet Morning, 1968" The Telegraph, 8 November 2003
  8. DeRogatis, Jim (2003-12-01). Turn on your mind: four decades of great psychedelic rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 385. ISBN   978-0-634-05548-5.
  9. " The Telegraph, 8 November 2003
  10. "Week 22: Lee Hazlewood, space cowboy/peculiar guy".
  11. "200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s". Pitchfork.
  12. 20 Greatest Duos of All Time
  13. Elemental and enigmatic — the mystery of Some Velvet Morning