I don’t think anyone said it better than Sinatra. If anyone’s voice evokes a sense of the golden age of air travel it’s Old Blue Eyes. I’m not just limiting that feeling of nostalgia to one song, either. Sinatra recorded an entire album of songs dedicated to travel (and associated pursuits like finding some exotic brews in old Bombay [Mumbai]).
Each song is a serenade for wanderlust. You just look at the beautiful cover of the album, a painted rendition of the crooner strolling across the tarmac, a TWA Constellation in the background. The classic airliner is ready to take you to your next escape, be it the Isle of Capri (where you get your heart broken) or strolling with your lover in the Moonlight in Vermont. I have no rhythm an am terrible with lyrics but for some reason this music doesn’t give me much of a problem.
I still don’t understand a few things, like why it’s “Blue Hawaii” or why you’d travel to Paris in April — it’s still a cool and sometimes rainy month in France.
Many years ago I did go walking in “London by Night.” It was part of my first date with Amanda, a 12-hour layover in the middle of the night in London on our way to Italy. I will say it can be romantic to walk around the old city at night when everything is a little damp and the yellow tungsten light gives the stones of Westminster a golden glow. We had our luggage in tow and were both in desperate need of a shower, but looking back it was kind of romantic. Amanda remembers thinking if we didn’t hate each other’s guts by the time we arrived in Venice we were probably on to something pretty amazing.
The final song of the album sums up the wanderlust in all of us: “It’s Nice to Go Trav’ling.” I put this album on on lazy Sunday mornings when I need a lift or when we’e planning or packing for our own jaunt so we can sing along — “Let’s Get Away From it All.”