12 December: Frank Sinatra was born on this day in 1915

If we were to search for one single word to describe Frank Sinatra, it would waft towards us just like the steam rising from the ground in New York. And that word could only be: “American”. Whether his career was an epic or a pastoral, it was marked by that sheer magnitude that is, without the shadow of a doubt, the most ‘frank’ of American characteristics.

Baby Sinatra came into the world in December 1915: he was deaf in one ear and the son of Italian immigrants living out in the boonies. Frank’s rise to fame was studded with countless ups and downs, as well as a wide range of genres: from the buoyancy of swing, to the melancholy of balladry. Applying to Sinatra the verses from a famous Italian poem about Napoleon, “He fell, then triumphantly did soar to fall again” …over and over again: after all, he too was of Italian origin. A journalist once wrote in “The New Yorker” that there are “two odd, coinciding figures: Frank and Sinatra”, and “at least two Sinatras—the swinging Sinatra and the sad Sinatra”.

And what a surprise it is to discover that “The Voice” was also a painter whose favourite subjects were clowns, those figures that notoriously swing between laughter and tears. Perhaps that’s what he saw when the spotlights were dimmed and he looked at himself in the mirror.

Feast Day:
Our Lady of Guadalupe