The message of 3 classic Frank Sinatra songs you need to hear

Glenn listened to a few of Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits on his ride to work this morning, and he found the lyrics resonated with him more now than ever before. “The Impossible Dream,” “My Way,” and “That’s Life” have a grit and truthfulness that Glenn found to be particularly apropos.

“I have to tell you I was driving in today and I was listening to some Frank Sinatra and I thought to myself: You know what? The world needs a little more Frank Sinatra,” Glenn said. “Can you imagine what Frank Sinatra would be saying to us right now? I mean don’t you think we need some manly men. We need some men who are just saying it like it is, Jack.”

Thinking back to the 1960s when these songs were first released, Glenn recalled the seemingly dire situation of the United Sates. It was era of “tearing each other apart.” From the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. to widespread political unrest, the world probably looked “like it was coming to an end.” But there was a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and that was the moon landing in 1969.

“I want to ask you: Where is that bright light today. Where are the people that really, truly say: We can do anything,” Glenn asked. “Let me read the lyrics from three Frank Sinatra songs and tell me that this wasn’t part of that moonshot attitude. That while everybody else was rolling around in the mud, there were a group of people that were saying: We can do it. We can do anything.”

Today Glenn found himself particularly grateful for the fact that he got to witness the moon landing. He may have only been 5-years-old, but it was proof that we are capable of doing amazing things.

“I actually said in my prayer today: Thank God that I lived in the era of the moonshot; that I saw a man do that,” Glenn said. “Because I’m not sure, if we don’t turn things around, we’re going to be doing amazing things anymore. We’re going to be entertaining ourselves with bogus virtual reality instead of reality.”

To start, Glenn read the lyrics to “The Impossible Dream”:

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To be willing to give when there’s no more to give
To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

“That is the attitude that America needs. That’s the attitude that all mankind should be striving for right now: To right the unrightable wrong,” Glenn said. “Let’s do what we have to do knowing that we’ll never be able to right it. But we can make it as right as we possibly can. Let’s fight even though we don’t think we’re going to win because we’re not going to violate our own principles. Because in the end, we know that the world will be better by far because we lived.”

He then read “My Way”:

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And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and ev’ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
“Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way”

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

Yes, it was my way

“We need another Frank Sinatra… We need to have a little more of a brash attitude I think. When it comes to life and just saying, look this is what’s true and what’s not,” Glenn said. “We are living in a time right now that is about envy and vengeance… And I think this comes from a place of: I don’t believe I can actually ever do anything. And it’s too hard anyway to do.”

The antithesis of that mindset is what is on display in “That’s Life”:

That’s life (that’s life), that’s what all the people say
You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May
But I know I’m gonna change that tune
When I’m back on top, back on top in June

I said that’s life (that’s life), and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks stompin’ on a dream
But I don’t let it, let it get me down
’cause this fine old world, it keeps spinnin’ around

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That’s life (that’s life), I tell you I can’t deny it
I thought of quitting, baby, but my heart just ain’t gonna buy it
And if I didn’t think it was worth one single try
I’d jump right on a big bird and then I’d fly

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face
I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That’s life (that’s life), that’s life and I can’t deny it
Many times I thought of cuttin’ out but my heart won’t buy it
But if there’s nothin’ shakin’ come this here July
I’m gonna roll myself up in a big ball a-and die

My, my!

“That’s life. It’s going to suck sometimes. You’re going to be riding high, and then the next month you’re going to be down in the dumps and people will be kicking the snot out of you,” Glenn concluded. “But don’t worry because a month later you’re going to be back up again. Pick yourself back up again and let’s go. Let’s go to the moon.”

  • Anonymous

    All recorded after Sinatra turned 50 years old.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FvmesaxXg Sam Fisher

    I am more of a Johnny Cash guy myself.

  • Anonymous

    Love them both!

  • Anonymous

    Surly Glenn you are not using Sinatra as a good example of living an exemplary life, it is the lyrics of the song right??

  • Jon Dykstra

    In “I did it my way” Sinatra speaks of the import “To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels” It always seemed to me that the contrast Sinatra was outlining in this song was between doing things his way, or bowing his knee and doing it God’s way. Sinatra’s lifestyle seems to reinforce the best interpretation of this song as being Sinatra thumbing his nose God, ignoring the submission he owed his Creator.

  • Shirley Francisco

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    ♣♣♣♣ ♣♣♣♣ ♣♣￿♣♣ ♣♣♣ ♣♣♣♣♣ ♣♣�♣ ♣♣♣We need to have a little more of a brash attitude I think.

  • LEL

    Is Glenn prepareing to go off grid ? What’s with all this end-of-the-road talk? He’s done it his way thus far, there’s a long road to go unless he intends to go hunker-down in the mountains some where.

  • Anonymous

    Songs in those days really meant something. Many people could relate to the lyrics. Nowadays all you hear is screaming and tunes that bust your ear-drums.
    And I like to add something else: In those days people dared to dream and strife for a better life. Now, it seems the government, especially the Democrats want everybody equally dumb and poor. In the 1960 people white, black and any other color wanted
    a better life for themselves and their children and they worked hard to reach that goal.
    Now, it seems many people are resigned to wait for the next hand-out from uncle
    Sam, what can the government give me without lifting a finger.
    Paul Anka wrote the lyrics to “I did it my way” after he heard a French song while on a vacation in Paris. He did not like the French lyrics but liked the melody. Even if the original was not to his liking, he did not discard the old but improved on it. That is the American Spirit: ” If you do not like what fate has given you, don’t give up, but improve it.” I did it my way and I am glad I did!

  • Anonymous

    Sinatra is Mafia, not something I support

  • Jim

    Something about Sinatra always bugged me. Too much power? Connections? I don’t know. I have no evidence, just intuition.

  • Anonymous

    I did not see the “one who kneels” as about God, but rather kneeling to Man, as in the ‘other master’.

  • Anonymous

    Sinatra was really a genius. he could not read music, he could not even dance. I don’t know if he could even read. and did he even graduate from high school.
    he absolutely did it his way. he is one of the most well known person in the world and he had not a racist bone in his body

  • Anonymous

    Everybody has their own favorite singers. These songs were done much better by Elvis Presley to my ears. The singer in many cases did not write the songs sung. The true genius is the one who writes the songs AND the lyrics.

  • Anonymous

    I do not think so. The lyrics were not written by Sinatra but by Paul Anka and the lyrics meant that with GOD’s help everybody can achieve anything he puts his or her mind to. Sinatra was just the singer of the song, nothing more and nothing less.

  • ItalianScallion

    Glenn if you dont expect to fight for your rights then stay home.

  • wazan95

    No, don’t think so… but he is preparing for the next phase… , and looking back to see all that he has accomplished. Good way to see that he has accomplished miracles, and believe that he can accomplish even more…. he goes through this about once or twice a year. I started too – it works really good!

  • wazan95

    Thanks for the reminders… yes I loved these songs, too. Was bowled over watching the moon landing – at age 9 – what an incredible miracle Also “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (in spite of who sang it)…. Yep, I find myself grateful, too. Seen many amazing things happen – in spite of the bad.

  • Anonymous

    ALL these songs are absolutely terrific. Especially “That’s Life”. I didn’t know Frank did “The Imposible Dream”, thought it was Sammy. Or maybe Sammy was the guy who had the bigger hit with it.

  • Anonymous

    Actually Paul Anka is Canadian.

  • Anonymous

    My mother took her own life when I was three years old, and they played “My Way” at her funeral.

  • Anthony DeFina

    The words of the song written by Paul Anka, I think, mean not to kneel to another man. I think of the Nazi trooper making a poor Jewish man kneel down & lick his boot. To me it means standing up to a bossy person and doing what you believe is right…..your way!

  • Anthony DeFina

    Sinatra sang “The Impossible Dream ” but Jack Jones had the popular hit. The show “Man of La Mancha” will make you cry when Don Quioxte is dying and sings it.

  • Anthony DeFina

    Anyone playing in Vegas or even local clubs will have to deal with Mafia people. He wasn’t in the Mob!

  • Jimmy Morgan

    Cool version of “The Impossible Dream” http://youtu.be/r5KeGccP9Jk

  • Anonymous

    ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON JON!!!
    “i Did it My Way” is the most played/sung song at funerals.
    It underscores Christ’s Words from Matt 7:13-14 ~
    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

  • http://nathanhowemusic.com/ Nathan Howe

    I don’t get to listen to Glenn very much because of my work schedule, but I caught this segment of the show this evening. The monologue definitely inspired me to do something within the next week to make my mark on the world. Maybe write a new song.

  • ken

    Glenn you have it so wrong! The problem was he had it HIS WAY! Sinatra was singing that song because he didn’t want it Gods way. He was spitting in the face of God! That was the reason behind those songs! That is the same reason our country is so messed up too. Its because we do it our way. I love what you do and for the most part you stand for what is true and honest. It seems to me though that you didn’t research these songs and why they were written very well. Also Jesus is God. Mormons don’t believe that so you really can’t call a christian your brother. I hope you come to know the true Jesus Christ. Love ya man!

  • ken

    you should look up the songs and then hear what Ravi Zacharias has to preach on this song

  • defiant1

    Oh yes, I saw the original “Man of La Mancha” with Richard Kiley in NY in late 1965. I went to NYC on business with an office mate, it was my first plane ride and my first play. I was 23 years old and it was absolutely a wonderful time of my life. Amazing play!

  • landofaahs

    I love most of Frank’s music but my way has never been one of them. I knew someone worth about $100 million I would guess and had cancer and killed himself while he was still up and walking around. At his funeral he had that song played. Sorry, when I go I want to be said I did it Jesus way.

  • BillK

    These days perhaps “Cycles” is the most apropos Sinatra song:

    So I’m down and so I’m out
    But so are many others
    So I feel like tryin’ to hide
    My head ‘neath these covers
    Life is like the seasons
    After winter comes the spring
    So I’ll keep this smile awhile
    And see what tomorrow brings

    I’ve been told and I believe
    That life is meant for livin’
    And even when my chips are low
    There’s still some left for givin’
    I’ve been many places
    Maybe not as far as you
    So I think I’ll stay awhile
    And see if some dreams come true

    There isn’t much that I have learned
    Through all my foolish years
    Except that life keeps runnin’ in cycles
    First there’s laughter, then those tears

    But I’ll keep my head up high
    Although I’m kinda tired
    My gal just up and left last week
    Friday I got fired
    You know it’s almost funny
    But things can’t get worse than now
    So I’ll keep on tryin’ to sing
    But please, just don’t ask me how

  • Anonymous

    Any civilize human could understand ” I DID IT MY WAY ” is life itself, and how you conduct yourself as a young child to a father to being a grandfather and looking back through life keeping faith with God and trying to do unto other’s has other’s would have done unto you. Were life on earth is but a blink of a eye, and we all cherish the thought of going before our God on judgment day, knowing we did it my way under the watchful eyes of our Lord, if we don’t send this message unto our children, then we have forsaken God and any hope of this Nation surviving.

  • Usagikitti

    I am a firm believer that the American Spirit is not just for the American people. Our spirit infected the world at one time and whenever there is a person who reaches for better and strives for more, to me they are showing American Spirit – for I have rarely seen any other country so filled with imaginative thinkers and doers who do just that, DO and Improve and spread it to all the world. Just my opinion of course but there ya go.

  • jusawhiteguy

    so you are of the opinion that sammy davis jr was his buddy? hardly.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right. I was mixing up that song with ‘I Gotta Be Me. Same great message, Sam powerful recording values but comPLETEly different song.

  • Anonymous

    Oh come on, Sammy had to have been his friend. He invited Sammy to be a member of the Rat Pack, didn’t he? And as far as I ‘ve read he ONLY invited his BFFs to be in the Pack.

  • RONALD HATT

    & “WHAT’S THE REAL DIFFERENCE? ON THE 4TH OF JULY, CANADIANS DRINK MAPLE SYRUP, & EAT ‘BEAVER”! AMERICANS, DRINK BEER, & EAT HOT DOGS. WE SHARE A BORDER, & MUTUAL FRIENDSHIP. WE DON’T THREATEN EACH OTHER, & CALL EACH OTHER NAMES, & THE CANADIANS DON’T SNEAK ACROSS THE BORDER, & SUCK OFF OUR WELFARE SYSTEM……”THEY FIXED THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT”, THEIR HEALTH SYSTEM IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT,BUT AS NEIGHBORS, WE ARE “HAPPY WITH EACH OTHER!

  • Anonymous

    That’s true. Japan probably wouldn’t have gotten where it is if we hadn’t helped them out right after WWII.

  • Anonymous

    No difference at all. Maybe the”American spirit” the comment is about should be called the human spirit. Since the whole world has people in it who are inventive just the way Americans are. But drink maple syrup on the 4th of July?

  • Jamie A Hope

    Ironic, I just wrote a response to an article a feminist wrote about stay at home moms not being equal to career women. That what we do is ordinary and not important. http://www.jamieahope.com/1/post/2014/01/idiot-mothers.html

  • The Robert King Experience

    Great discussion about Sinatra yesterday. He is one of the greatest of all time!

    In that spirit, thought you might get a kick out of this:

    Here’s the Lyric Video to my new song, “I Can Hear Sinatra Singing.” We all relate different songs to different experiences in our lives. Well, the character in my song, no matter what he’s doing or going through, he hears a Sinatra song. I’ve included 17 different Sinatra titles in the lyrics of the song. Hope you’ll take a gander: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTlmHkqqjyY If you’d rather not watch the Lyric Video, and would prefer to just listen to the song on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/therobertkingexperience Please pass it along to those who appreciate all things Sinatra, or this style of music, or those who sing Sinatra tunes.

    http://www.TheRobertKingExperience.com

  • landofaahs

    There’s a “lady” in the capital that makes over $500 a day and she doesn’t even have to get out of bed to go to work.

  • landofaahs

    I read once that Frank’s mother used to perform abortions. I don’t know how much truth is in it but that would explain a lot. Frank suffered from severe depression also.

  • Anonymous

    The beauty of living in a free society is that you and I can read or listen to something and take away something completely different. It depends on the emotions and philosophy we attach to the subject. We do not have to join the chorus of Mr. Zacharias or for anyone else to interpret what words or music means to us.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, I was thinking on the same wave length when I talked about the American Spirit.

  • Anonymous

    And Germany not either.

  • Anonymous

    The human spirit can only blossom in freedom. America was the land of the “free” in the mind of many who came to these shores. Therefore, I called it the “American Spirit” in my post.

  • Anonymous

    How did America help Germany? We helped Japan by sending them business plans and things after we bombed them. Of course nobody actually expected them to surpass us in building the kind of society they did.

  • Dr. John Rushing

    Dear Ken,
    I doubt that you knew Mr. Sinatra so there is no way you know what he had in mind when he sang My Way. You may imagine anything you want of course. You may also imagine you may speak for God by saying who is the true Jesus or what is a true faith. That said, we are blessed to live in a country where we can say what we believe no matter how objectionable it may be to others and in that you have my support. Peace, John

  • Anonymous

    The Marshall Plan was implemented to help Germany and Europe get back on its feet to prevent the spread of Communism.

  • Anonymous

    Well, that’s cool us helping Europe like that. There must have been TONS to do over there, the Nazis messed up so much. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    back in those days music was actually music and you could actually here what
    they were sing about..today music everybody either screams or r&b or rap trash.

  • Feet2Fire

    Sad.

  • Susan

    Sinatra would have been better off if he did it “God’s” Way! God always knows best and I bet the mighty proud Sinatra found that out by now.

  • Anonymous

    Is that your picture? You look sort of Hot.