Song of the Day #1,168: ‘She Says’ – Frank Sinatra

The most important song on Frank Sinatra’s Watertown, plot-wise, is the worst musically.

The penultimate track, ‘She Says,’ uses an Ennio Morricone-esque call and answer technique and a creepy kids chorus to dramatize the wife’s decision to return home to her husband and children.

It’s dramatic, sure, but also more than a little silly. Even the bridge, the song’s most effective moment musically, blows it with the cliched lyric “the price is high, high as the sky.”

Can the same pair responsible for the rest of this gorgeous, subtle album possibly be behind this song? (The answer is yes.)

Fortunately the song is short and doesn’t distract too much from its surroundings. And it propels the narrative to its final chapter. For the first time we hear from the wife in the big city. How different New York City must be from Watertown (it’s never stated that the story takes place in New York, but the writers have confirmed it in interviews).

She’s seen some shows, lost some weight, found lots to see… but the weather is cold and the city is strange. Is that a hint of remorse peeking through her brave facade?

And finally… she says she’s coming home. Coming home because she still loves him, because she misses her children? Or because she didn’t find herself in the city the way she thought she would?

She says she’s sleeping well
She says she’s lost some weight
She says she’s seen some shows
She says the city’s strange

(So she says)

She says the weather’s cold
She says there’s been some rain
She says there’s lots to see
She says she hopes we’re fine

(So she says)
(So she says)

The price is high
High as the sky
And she says
She says
She’s comin’ home

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,168: ‘She Says’ – Frank Sinatra

  1. Dana says:

    I agree that this isn’t much of a song. It’s actually the kind of filler that is used all the time in musicals to carry a piece of the plot forward or to put some music to necessary lyrics. In the context of the musical, a song like this is quickly forgotten, but serves it function. So, had Watertown been turned into a show (or TV musical), a song like this would make some sense. When all you have though is an album, this track comes up short.

  2. pegclifton says:

    I agree Dana; also Watertown is in New York, I always believed it was about New York, and when we pass the exit I always think about this album.

  3. Amy says:

    I don’t know… I always kind of liked this song, save for the creepy kids’ chorus. The telegraph sounding… tap, tap, tap,…. followed by each of the things “she says” works for me.

    But boy are those kids creepy!

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