Posted by: suek2001 | January 16, 2015

It was a very good song. Remembering Ervin Drake..

It seems like every decade or so, there’s a song that defines what youth is like for those growing old…

In the last twenty years, my generation has had two such songs…”Good Riddance”(Time of Your Life) by Greend Day..and Five For Fightings “100 Years to Live”..


Both songs serve the purpose and have layers of meaning but the gold standard of wistful recollection belongs to a song recorded by Bob Shane of the Kingston Trio..and written by Ervin Blake…

It was called “It Was a Very Good Year”:


Bob Shane’s tender, mournful take on this song adds to that theme of wistfulness..and it translates into a song that anyone can relate to..It has been often said that as one grows older, time speeds up..and at age 43, I wonder where did my life go..and this song captures it clearly…

This version was so good, that Frank Sinatra would be taken with it and do his own version of it..and that’s the one that everyone remembers:


The older voice..the orchestration..add layers of wisdom to it and it would be what so many identify with…

Ervin Drake wrote the song specifically for Bob Shane…and the spare, folky version is probably what serves the song best….Still, great songs are great songs no matter who sings them..

Ervin Drake passed away at the age of 92 this week…from bladder cancer….He lived a full life…and gave the world so much in music..not just one song…He helped write another folk standard “Across The Wide Missouri”…and the jazz standard “Good Morning Heartache” but it is this song that will forever remain within us all…

One of the nicest parts of “Good Year” is there seems to be no regret..not even in aging but in seeing things as part of a “very good year”..

Thanks Mr. Drake for the gift of song…It was a very good song..You can now rest in peace..


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