Some Velvet Morning
|"Some Velvet Morning"|
|Single by Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood|
|from the album Movin' With Nancy|
|A-side||Some Velvet Morning|
|B-side||Oh, Lonesome Me|
"Some Velvet Morning" is a psychedelic pop song written by Lee Hazlewood and originally recorded by Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra in late 1967. It first appeared on Sinatra's album Movin' with Nancy, the soundtrack to her 1967 television special of the same name, which also featured a performance of the song.
Although "Some Velvet Morning" is one of the more famous duets Hazlewood and Sinatra recorded together, it is considered a departure from their usual fare, as it is decidedly less influenced by country and western music. The single peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1968.
In 2003, London's The Daily Telegraph called the song, "One of the strangest, druggiest, most darkly sexual songs ever written - ambitious, beautiful and unforgettable." As with many psychedelic songs, its overall meaning is somewhat obscure. The lyrics consist of the male part describing a mysterious, powerful woman named Phaedra, who "gave [him] life … and ... made it end". The male part alternates with the female part, who identifies herself as Phaedra and speaks over ethereal, twinkling music about beautiful nature imagery and about the secrets held by an unknown collective "us." The rhythm shifts from 4/4 for the male parts to 3/4 for the female parts.
The male part of the song is in 4/4 time signature whereas the female part is in 3/4.
- In November 2003, music critics working for the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph placed the Sinatra/Hazlewood single at the No. 1 spot in their list of the "50 Best Duets Ever." According to Nathan Rabin: "These two weirdly complementary sides of Hazlewood’s persona unite on 'Some Velvet Morning,' a standout track from Nancy & Lee. On that track, Hazlewood and Sinatra sound like they don’t inhabit the same universe, let alone the same song. Over loping spaghetti-Western guitar, Hazlewood sings of Greek mythology and “some velvet morning when I’m straight,” while Sinatra coos about flowers and daffodils in a stoned haze against a backdrop of bubblegum psychedelia. “Some Velvet Morning” sounds like two songs spliced together by a madman, or an avant-garde short film in song form."
Selective list of cover versions
- 1968 Gábor Szabó - guitar instrumental on Bacchanal
- 1969 Vanilla Fudge on Near the Beginning
- 1982 Lydia Lunch and Rowland S. Howard, 12" single later issued on Honeymoon In Red
- 1986 Peter Zaremba's Love Delegation on Spread the Word
- 1988 Rami Fortis and Berry Sakharof on Tales from the Box (performed with a Hebrew translation of the lyrics)
- 1990 Eedie and Eddie (Peter Langston) in Computing Systems (Volume 3, Number 2)
- 1993 Starpower - 12" single on Visionary records
- 1993 Slowdive on Souvlaki
- 1994 Lost & Profound on Memory Thief
- 1995 Thin White Rope on Spoor. In this version there is no female singer, the female vocal part is played on guitar
- 2001 My Dying Bride on Peaceville X & Meisterwerk 2
- 2002 Primal Scream and Kate Moss on Evil Heat. A different version was released as a single in 2003 and included on Primal Scream's compilation Dirty Hits
- 2002 The Webb Brothers Feat. Laura Katter on the Lee Hazlewood Tribute Album, Total Lee!
- 2002 Entombed on Sons Of Satan Praise The Lord
- 2004 Firewater on Songs We Should Have Written
- 2007 Lee Hazlewood & Phaedra Dawn Stewart (his granddaughter) on Cake or Death
- 2008 Polar & Loane on 68 Covers and a bonus track on French Songs (2009)
- 2008 Amanda Brown and Glenn Richards on RocKwiz, Saturday, December 13, 2008
- 2009 Anny Celsi and Nelson Bragg on Tangle-Free World
- 2010 Inga Liljestrom and Peter Fenton (Crow) on Sprawling Fawns and EP Thistle (Groovescooter Records)
- 2013 Glenn Danzig and Cherie Currie posted on danzig-verotik.com, August 10, 2013
- 2014 Carole Pope and Sara T Russell on Music For Lesbians
- 2014 Alison Goldfrapp and John Grant (musician) performed the song at a Goldfrapp concert at The Royal Albert Hall
- DeRogatis, Jim (2003-12-01). Turn on your mind: four decades of great psychedelic rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 385. ISBN 978-0-634-05548-5.
- "50 Best Duets Ever: Some Velvet Morning, 1968" The Telegraph, 8 November 2003
- "50 Best Duets Ever" The Telegraph, 8 November 2003
- Lyrics and discography
- 2008 article, "Why I Care About Some Velvet Morning"
- "Eedie & Eddie On The Wire"
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics