Song of the Day: Nancy Sinatra, “You Only Live Twice”

Today is James Bond’s birthday. No, not the character from Ian Fleming’s 007 books, nor any of the actors who played him. This James Bond was an orinthologist who studied the birds of the Caribbean whose book Birds of the West Indies was first published in 1936. Fleming, who was an avid birdwatcher, lived in Jamaica, where he wrote all the Bond stories. When he wrote 1952’s Casino Royale, he was looking for a name for his lead character, and his eyes fell on his copy of Birds of the West Indies, and history was made.

Fleming’s 1964 novel You Only Live Twice was made into a movie in 1967. John Barry and Leslie Bricusse wrote the title song, and Nancy Sinatra was chosen to sing it after her father passed on it. It reached #44 on the Hot 100, but #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #11 in the UK, and #17 in Canada.

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Nancy Sinatra, “You Only Live Twice”

  1. Thanks John – that’s a fun read … I’d no idea about it … I love her rendition … as well as the film. Take care – Hilary

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  2. This is one of my favourite Bond films and I love how Fleming found the name. It would have been so cool to make Bond a bird watcher…not that kind of bird( think English slang).


    1. It is pretty fascinating. Look at Bond’s (the real one) story on Wikipedia. I guess Ian Fleming said that Bond could use his name whenever he wanted to, particularly if he wanted to get back at Fleming…

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