Born 99 years ago this very day, the great Sammy Cahn remains one of the finest song lyricists of all time.
An Academy Award winner, his work studs the oeuvres of such luminaries as Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Dean Martin as stars dot the heavens. High Hopes, Three Coins In A Fountain, (Love Is) The Tender Trap, I Fall In Love Too Easily, all masterpieces.
The Man Fron The Hornet’s favourite remains Come Fly With Me.
Written for Sinatra, it is the title track of his 1958 Capitol album, the optimistic sound of post-war America. And in Sinatra’s actorly hands, the lyric becomes a joyful fireworks display. Couplets such as “If you can use some exotic booze/There’s a bar in far Bombay” fiz with fun and internal rhymes. Sinatra’s glorious delivery of the line “Weatherwise it’s such a lovely day” is nothing less than joyful.
Raised in New York the son of Austrian Jewish immigrants, Cahn won four Academy Awards and composed a string of hits for Sinatra, with his High Hopes being adapted as the campaign song for Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960. He was once described as the Walt Whitman of popular song. He died in 1993.