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Stranglers in the night

November 29, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

RRoy’siPadI had the good fortune of meeting Frank Sinatra in 1966 at the Waldorf Astoria, NYC. Starvation at 2pm brought me to the Waldorf’s dining room that fateful day. Some five minutes after I started eating, a waiter asked me if I was a Filipino, and I said yes. He then said, “Well, Mr. Sinatra will appreciate it you can give him some additional profile about your new president who is reputed to have equalled, if not surpassed, the accolade accorded to America’s most highly decorated soldier of the 2nd World War, Audie Murphy. He got a Medal of Valor, you know.”

I gazed behind and saw the blue-eyed “Chairman of the Board” seated at the head of a long table occupied by eight others. I recognized only Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. An empty chair was being placed near Sinatra as I approached him, and he said, “Sit down, kid.” I was 31 then, and the kid couldn’t tell them any more than what had already been published about Marcos; but as a “Sinatra freak”, I guess I couldn’t be blamed for bragging I knew all his songs from Tommy Dorsey days, and even aped him in two songs, a cappella.

He cut me short after the first verse of “September of My Years” with a curt reprimand: “Don’t be a punk, kid. You won’t go anywhere imitating other pros!” I replied that singing was just a hobby, and that by profession I was a lawyer from Manila”. Noticing their amusement, I decided to shift to another one of his hits, “Strangers of the Night”, but first explained they would be hearing “Stranglers of the Night” — a parody that I wrote about Jack the Ripper and an accomplice. They guffawed through some of the lines, and I knew they liked it. But I liked much better what Sinatra told me at the exit door: “Maybe you shouldn’t be a lawyer, kid. You’re 31? I’m now 48. You sounded just like I did when I was 31.”

STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT, EXCHANGING GLANCES / WOND’RING IN THE NIGHT, WHAT WERE THE CHANCES / WOULD THEY SHARE A BROAD, BEFORE THE NIGHT WAS THROUGH / SOMETHING IN THEIR EYES WAS VERY FRIGHT’NING / SOMETHING IN THEIR EYES WAS CALCULATING / SOMETHING ‘BOUT THESE GUYS WARNED ME TO STAY AWAY

STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT, TWO CRAZY PEOPLE / THEY WERE STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT, THEN CAME THE MOMENT / WHEN A HOOKER CAME ALONG, LITTLE DID SHE KNOW / HEAVEN WAS A STEP AWAY, JUST ONE EYE-POPPING SQUEEZE AWAY / EVER SINCE THAT NIGHT, THEY’VE BEEN TOGETHER / PARTNERS AT FIRST SIGHT, IN CRIME FOREVER / IT TURNED OUT SO RIGHT, FOR STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT

(Refrain)
STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT, TWO SCHIZOPHRENICS / THEY WERE STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT, THEN CAME THE MOMENT / WHEN A HOOKER CAME ALONG, LITTLE DID THEY KNOW / SHE WOULD SOON TURN OUT TO BE A MASQUERADING DOLLED-UP BOBBY / EVER SINCE THAT NIGHT THEY SHARED A COLD CELL / WOND’RING WHAT WENT WRONG, UNTIL THE ROPES FELL / IT TURNED OUT SO BAD, FOR STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT

STRANGLERS IN THE NIGHT
Ronald Roy
Nov. 28, 2015

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