This version of the song is a classic, and deservedly so. It’s from 1945, when Sinatra was most appreciated for his crooning — the smooth tones and easy delivery that made him a sensation, mostly with young girls. You might argue that Sinatra is more concerned here with his star persona as a dream lover than with emotional expressiveness. You don’t get a feeling he’s really broken about by being alone — more that he’s putting the moves on somebody to rectify the situation.
That’s niggling, though, in the case of such a lovely musical treasure.
Dylan’s cover of the song on his new album is something else again.
This is the voice of a man who’s gotten on a bit in years, who feels his isolation keenly. His hopefulness is mixed with weariness and with rue. His voice is not what it used to be, so he can’t use it to project a dream boat image, which makes his wishing and longing all the more poignant. Dylan’s version cuts deeper than Sinatra’s and is a classic in its own right.