Frank Sinatra's Watertown


My first post here at Boing Boing is going to be what got me into this mess in the first place. I read an interesting short essay about a little-known 1970 Frank Sinatra concept album called Watertown on a blog called Frankosonic and I sent it around to some rock snob pals of mine including Mark and David. They must've been impressed because that's what snagged me this here fancy Boing Boing guest bloggership...

Here's an excerpt:

Upon first listen it's the story of a man who has been deserted by his wife and left to bring up their two kids alone. Pretty much every song is addressed directly to the absent partner and the simplistic style of lyric reads like a series of letters. As the story develops, the Father receives news that she is coming back to them, but ultimately he's left stranded at the Railway Station as it becomes apparent that she was never aboard the train and won't ever return.

Admittedly I have listened to this album far too much and I started to think about the bits of the story that didn't add up.

Firstly, she has not only abandoned him but also the two kids - I know this DOES happen but is not exactly common behaviour amongst women. Secondly, he mentions that her Mother still comes by to help with the children and along with other friends they encourage him to move on and find a new love. Surely any mother would concentrate on getting her wayward daughter back on track and try to orchestrate a reconciliation? But he's not ready to move on, he's not over her and he can't understand why nobody sees this. Lastly I just don't get why she would say that she is coming back and then just not turn up, breaking his heart a second time. Then it dawned on me...

She's not coming back because she's dead.

Well, I don't know about you, but after reading the above description of "Watertown" and its rather morbid seeming charms -- it sounds like The Chairman's "Berlin" to me -- I just had to hear this! -- Problem is, the CD is long out of print and although there are used import copies on Amazon for $104... oh wait a minute, there is no problem, you simply type in the words Sinatra Watertown Torrent (maybe FLAC for good measure?) into Google and well, you know the rest...

(Richard Metzger is a guestblogger)