|"Some Velvet Morning"|
Cover of the 1967 US single
|Single by Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood|
|from the album Movin' With Nancy|
|B-side||"Oh, Lonesome Me"|
|Nancy Sinatra singles chronology|
"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.
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.
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.
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".
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".Lee Hazelwood's was less definitive than some others'.
"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."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.
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.
The song has been covered many times, usually as a duet. Among other recordings:
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"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is a hit song written by Lee Hazlewood and recorded by Nancy Sinatra. It charted on January 22, 1966, and reached No. 1 in the United States Billboard Hot 100 and in the UK Singles Chart.
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