Fridays Are For Frank: “Life On Mars” (David Bowie Meets Sinatra)
Bear with us on this one…
In 1968, David Bowie wrote English lyrics to the French song “Comme d’habitude“—a song that will have a melody familiar to Frank Sinatra fans.
Bowie’s “Even a Fool Learns to Love” never really got much traction, as Paul Anka ended up buying the rights to the song and famously penned a little ditty called “My Way.” Looking at Bowie’s lyrics, however, you could see the similarities—even imagining Frank singing them along with the tune, as sort of a “My Way”/“Angel Eyes”/“Send in the Clowns” hybrid:
There was a time, the laughing time
I took my heart to every party
They’d point my way
“How are you today?”
“Will you make us laugh?
Chase our blues away?”
Their funny man won’t let them down
No, he’d dance and prance and be their clown
That time, the laughing time
When even a fool learns to love…
Undaunted, David Bowie vowed to outdo Anka’s effort, writing a song titled “Life On Mars,” for his album Hunky Dory. According to the liner notes for the album, the song was “inspired by Frankie.”
So there you have it—a Sinatra/Bowie connection. Ziggy meets the Chairman, and after “a God-awful small affair,” everything comes out Hunky Dory.
This week’s “Friday’s Are For Frank” tips the fedora to David Bowie, who broke down so many social barriers by doing things “his way.”
DAVID BOWIE: 1947-2016
(Thanks to Jason Notte Flint connecting the dots on this one…)