Whenever Pouch editing time comes along, I say to myself, "This will finally be the issue when I'll have time to write something myself, for the first time in I don't know how many issues." Well, all my good article ideas are still up in my head instead of on your computer screens, though, because time has just not been kind to me.
So why, you ask, when I finally decide to force myself to write up an article (making the issue's publication all that much later), do I choose yet another humorous one instead of all the dang good serious ideas I have? Oh, I don't know. But that's what happened. So you'll just have to keep waiting to get anything from me that is meant to make you think rather than smile.
Because what we have here is my personal tribute to one Francis Albert Sinatra, who passed away, of course, earlier this year. (You may also look at this as a tribute to Phil Hartman, whose humorous impersonation of Sinatra is also very missed.)
I am very happy that Sinatra lived long enough for me to come to appreciate his talent; as someone raised on rock, I always saw Sinatra as the ultimate square. It's only in the last year or so that I came to realize why he was and still is so very popular. The guy had quite a voice. In fact, as they say, he had The Voice.
I don't know if Sinatra ever played Diplomacy. I kind of doubt it, since some of the people he hung around with weren't exactly the diplomatic type, if you know what I mean. But until he cut Peter Lawford out of Robin and the Seven Hoods, his rat pack included the brother-in-law of the Kennedys, and Jack and Bobby were Diplomacy players. So you never know.
And so, what you'll find below are a number of Sinatra standards, with the words changed to portray old blue eyes not just as the Chairman of the Board, but as the Chairman of the Diplomacy Board.
The idea isn't exactly original with me, though. In a game in which I was involved, James McKay once broadcast some "mid-phase comments from uncle Frank," little lyrical excerpts that show how Sinatra would have been thinking musically had he been playing a few of the powers in the game.
Just so you know, I butchered the songs below with one rule in mind: none of the title lines (or the titles of the songs) have been changed. Why I made this rule for myself, I don't know, but I did. It kept my murderous hands off of songs like, "New York, New York" and "Young at Heart," but there are plenty of Sinatra songs where even the title lends itself to a Diplomacy slant. In fact, some are just so easy that I didn't even bother. For example, take the song "How Could You Do A Thing Like That To Me" -- change the word "Baby" to "Turkey" and the word "Ma'am" to "Turk" and you'd basically be done!
Here are a half dozen of the slightly less easy pickings, though. Enjoy, and maybe we'll see some more of these. (Reminder -- next issue will see the second annual Pouch Holiday Song festival. Hopefully this puts you in the mood -- maybe you can help by putting new words to some old carols.)
It Was A Very Good Year
When I had three SC's
When I had eight SC's
When I had twelve SC's
And now their talks are short
And now, the end is near
I've played a game that's short
Supports, I've had a few
I planned each charted course
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
I've bounced, retreated, held,
To think I did all that;
For what am I now, what have I got?
Strangers in the Night
Strangers in the night,
Something in your eyes
Strangers in the night, two silent players
Yes, you saw the light
This is the Beginning of the End
This is the beginning of the end,
All The Way
When somebody stabs you,
Fall or Spring, just one SC is
When somebody trusts you
I know where that road will lead you
I know I stand in line,
And next season we drop into a quiet little place
I can see it in your eyes
I practice every turn to find some clever lines to say
The time is right, your lies fill my head, my army's dead
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