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Music Cues: A Sinatra Song for Every Occasion?
Scott Simon
December 16, 2000

Is there a Sinatra song for every occasion?

This week, the New York City Board of Education announced that a school of the arts would be opened in Queens and named for Frank Sinatra. Now why name a high school after a man who called himself a 'saloon' singer, as opposed to a distinguished politician, scholar, soldier or shortstop? Well, some of us believe there's a Sinatra song for almost every occasion and emotion in life, even the unprecedented ones.

Mr. FRANK SINATRA: (Singing) Here's to the winners. Lift up the glasses.

SIMON: The whole post-election melodrama of 2000 began back on November 8th in the wee small hours of the morning. Al Gore was sure that he'd won Florida and that ballots should be counted the second time around. George W. Bush felt he'd already won the presidency and protested, (singing) "They can't take that away from me."

Democrats complained about the bewildering butterfly ballot in West Palm Beach that may have registered thousands of Al Gore votes for Pat Buchanan, but it turned out that Democrats had designed that ballot--"Send In the Clowns." When Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris insisted on certifying the original state vote, her partisanship was criticized, but also her appearance. Now instead of saying "how little it matters," some so-called political analysts charged, "The Lady is a Tramp." But for Republicans, Ms. Harris was "too marvelous for words."

When the Florida Supreme Court permitted a partial recount, Mr. Gore had 'high hopes.' Election judges squinted and squinched to detect dangling chads while attorneys from both campaigns looked on--"Someone to Watch Over Me." But when Miami-Dade County decided not to recount ballots, the count fell short for Mr. Gore. Instead of being (singing), "Fly Me to the Moon," he went to court saying, "The Best Is Yet To Come." When some Democrats had doubts, he persisted, "I'll do it my way."

You know we'd have to work that in there.