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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Lady Is a Tramp

By Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
1937

Just this past Saturday, I'm proud to say that Standard of the Day celebrated its fourth birthday. In honor of this event, tonight I'm presenting what is truly one of the most recognizable and beloved (not to mention gorgeous) standards of all time. Rodgers & Hart composed the tune for their stage musical Babes in Arms, in which it was introduced by Mitzi Green. Hart's lyrics in particular are quite clever and have led to much speculation--they're basically a cheeky lampoon of New York society, about a woman rejected because she refuses to adhere to their mores.

The song is absolutely timeless, and has become one of the most recorded ever. Specifically, Frank Sinatra made it one of his signature tunes thanks to his performance of it in the 1950s film version of Pal Joey. Many others have made it their own as well, as recently as the high-profile duet of Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga.

Lyrics:

She gets too hungry for dinner at eight,
She loves the theater but she never comes late.  
She never bothers with people she'd hate, 
That's why the lady is a tramp.
 
She doesn't like crap games with barons and earls, 

Won't go to Harlem in ermine and pearls
She won't dish the dirt with the rest of those girls. 
That's why the lady is a tramp!
 
She loves the free, fresh wind in her hair, 

Life without care  
She's broke, but it's oke!  
She hates California, it's crowded and damp, 
That's why the lady is a tramp!
 
She goes to Coney, the beach is divine.

She loves the Yankees, and the bleachers are fine, 
She follows Winchell, and reads every line, 
That's why the lady is a tramp! 

She loves a prize fight that isn't a fake,  
She loves to go rowing on Central Park Lake, 
She goes to the opera and stays wide awake,
That's why the lady is a tramp!
 
She likes the green grass under her shoes,

What can she lose?  
No dough! Oh, no! 
She's all alone when she lowers her lamp, 
That's why the lady is a tramp!

Recorded By:

Buddy Greco
Lena Horne
Tommy Dorsey
Ella Fitzgerald
Shirley Bassey

Though tempted to include the Sinatra Pal Joey footage, in honor of SOTD's fourth birthday, I give you my own daughter Layla's impromptu rendition of the song from March 2011 (she was 9 at the time)...
video



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