Frank and Nancy Sinatra – Somethin’ Stupid

First Hit #1: April 15, 1967

Of course Frank Sinatra would do a duet with his daughter Nancy. Both were quite famous, both were quite good singers, and they even had voices that complimented each other. Somethin’ Stupid doesn’t really take the fullest advantage of the pairing. I’d like to hear them exchanging verses, instead of just singing simultaneously, and Frank does overpower Nancy’s voice for the most part, clearly taking the lead in the production. But, overall, it’s a really nice love song, a lighthearted tale of a relationship that is travelling a bit slower the singers might wish.

So it’s a good song, yes, but there’s just something really weird about a father and daughter singing it. The reason is simply that it’s about lovers, and nobody wants to think of fathers and daughters loving each other in that particular way. It can’t really be read as something platonic or about the bond between a father and a child, it’s explicitly about a relationship. Which can be a hang up for some people, but honestly it should be read as a father and daughter just in the same situation – they’re singing simultaneously rather than trading verses, which keeps it from sounding like they’re singing to each other. It’s not incest, as the Wikipedia page distastefully implies, and there’s really nothing indicating that the father and daughter pair love each other in that way. They’re singing together because they want to sing together, because they love each other strictly in a normal father-daughter way, and this was a song that works. It’s a bit odd, but it doesn’t require the mental hurdles of some father-daughter duets – hiya Serge Gainsbourg – and it only makes sense that foolish romantic decisions are hereditary. Hell, it could even make a decent romantic comedy, a daughter makes the same mistakes in a new relationship her father made years ago when he was romancing her mom, maybe it’d be a tool that strengthens their relationship while they work through relationships with their respective lovers. It’d be better than Made of Honor.

Coincidentally, this is also the birthday of my own father, though I am his son and we’ll never sing duets since we’re not singers. So happy birthday dad.

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