Only The Lonely

The lockdown is hard enough but facing it alone must be extra hard. Those of us who are hunkering with their spouses, families, or friends face one level of stress but we’re not lonely. We may do some bickering but we’re not alone; even if there are times that we wish that we were.

This entry is dedicated to those who are riding out the pandemic on their own. It features three different songs recorded by three different artists with the same title. Let’s tackle them one at a time.

Our first Only The Lonely was written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen for Sinatra’s 1958 concept album Frank Sinatra Sings Songs for The Lonely. It was featured in Album Cover Art Wednesday in 2013. I love the cover image of Frank as Pagliacci:

Roy Orbison’s Only The Lonely was a breakthrough hit for the bespectacled crooner. He co-wrote it with Joe Melson in 1960. They tried selling it to Elvis and the Everly Brothers but to no avail. A good thing as it helped launch Orbison’s career. They added the tagline (Know The Way I Feel Tonight) to avoid confusion but it’s rarely used today.

The new wave band The Motels had a hit with *their* Only The Lonely in 1982. It was written by lead singer Martha Davis:


3 thoughts on “Only The Lonely

  1. Can’t forget the Duke as interpreted by Billie. Saw an interview with him where he described the origin of the tune. Studio time being very precious, the musicians were always early and waiting for their turn. Duke said he wrote it in 20 minutes, leaning against the glass window of the control room. His band played it for the first time, bringing tears to their eyes.

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