Song of the Day #1,166: ‘What a Funny Girl You Used to Be’ – Frank Sinatra

After opening with the gentle ‘Elizabeth,’ Part Two of Frank Sinatra’s Watertown moves on to the album’s most playful song. Again we are given a glimpse at the woman who is the cause of all this heartbreak, and this time it’s a very sympathetic portrait.

Of course none of the songs on Watertown are particularly upbeat and even this one, despite its amusing lyrics (“you’d fall for lines so easily… whatever they were selling, you’d buy three”) is tinged with sadness and regret.

The way Sinatra sings the single line that makes up the chorus — “What a funny girl you used to be” — captures the loneliness of a man whose happiest memories are a constant source of suffering.

This song changes the story of Watertown from one man’s heartbreak to the tragedy of a failed marriage. We can picture this couple in younger days, laughing over the mess in the kitchen, finding smiles where smiles could not be found.

What brought them from that point to this one? The next track will offer the most concrete answer yet.

You always looked a little out of place
All grown up with freckles on your face
We’d spend each night with company
Just you, the teddy bear, the dolls and me
What a funny girl you used to be

You always had a thousand things to do
Getting all involved with something new
Always some new recipe the kitchen
Always looked like World War Three
What a funny girl you used to be

It was so good with you around
You always found a smile
Where smiles could not be found

I never ever met a person more sincere
You’d always listen with an open ear
You’d fall for lines so easily
Whatever they were selling you’d buy three
What a funny girl you used to be
What a funny girl you used to be…

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,166: ‘What a Funny Girl You Used to Be’ – Frank Sinatra

  1. Amy says:

    This is definitely the song where I find myself most liking Elizabeth. Still, even here are hints of what might loom in the distance. Always wanting to get involved in something new, even a recipe, even if it left the kitchen looking like World War Three. Perhaps a symbol for the wreckage she is willing to leave behind in her home on a quest for something new after her marriage has become the same old thing? Hmmmm…..

  2. Dana says:

    Another good song. Looking forward to finding out why Elizabeth left old blue eyes.

  3. pegclifton says:

    Amy’s comment on the symbol of the wreckage in the kitchen and her marriage is very interesting. Hmmmmm

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