Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It Was a Very Good Year...Or Was It?

When I was seventeen it was a very good year.
It was a very good year for small town girls...
And soft summer nights. We'd hide from the lights.
On the village green...When I was seventeen

Are these words of regret from a man who admittedly is in the "autumn of the year" or are these the words of a man who is looking in the rear view mirror smiling as he recalls fond memories that made him the man he is today?

Recently, I was out with two really good friends and we were listening to some classic Sinatra and the song "It Was a Very Good Year" came on. Two of us immediately talked about how cool the crooner's perspective is.

The other friend lamented at how sad it was. She talked about the sadness of the melody. She talked about the sadness in his voice.

When I was twenty-one it was a very good year.
It was a very good year for city girls...
Who lived up the stair...with all that perfumed hair.
And it came undone when I was twenty-one.

My other friend and I focused on the imagery of a man looking back at life with a thoughtful smile...realizing that even though the end is approaching...there were lots of reasons to celebrate life.

But now the days grow short.
Im in the autumn of the year.
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
from fine old kegs
from the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year

Three similar people. One song. Two different perspectives.

One could look at it from a gender point of view. Men tend to look at their own mortality more than women.

Was this two 40-something year old men hoping that the song provides a positive picture of what is to come; when the end is near, we can look back at our lives and smile? Was this a woman who looks at it and feels sadness for the person whose life has gone by so quickly and is full of so many regrets?

I think there might be something to it.


The answer probably lies in the middle somewhere. All three of us are probably right to a degree.

But here is the kicker...

We have good days. We have bad days. Not every day is going to be good. Accept it. But if your "good" days in a year add up to 183, it was a very good year.

Methinks that's what 'ol Frankie was trying to tell us.

Yeah...I am going with that.

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