Fridays Are For Frank: “The Lady Is A Tramp”
Let’s transport ourselves back in time to another era—an era when people had a sense of humor…
On the surface, “The Lady Is A Tramp” appears to be the kind of song that would send today’s listeners scurrying to their safe place, as it evokes an era of Mad Men misogyny, with lines like:
“And she won’t dish the dirt with the rest of the broads
That’s why the lady is a tramp…”
Is it edgy? Sure, it is. But it’s satirical, serving as a spoof on High Society.
It’s a tear-down of absurd cultural norms of the era, advocating a woman’s freedom of expression while sardonically rolling its eyes at those who might be overly judgemental.
First written in 1937 for the Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms, the song was also used in the 1957 film version of Pal Joey starring Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. Joey Evans (Sinatra) sings the song to Vera Simpson (Hayworth) as he tries to entice the wealthy widow Simpson into financing Evans’s dream of owning his own night club.
It was also recorded by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald in the 1950s and Shirley Bassey in the 1960s, becoming a signature song for Sinatra.
Whether you want to believe it or not, it was meant to be a fun tune… try to enjoy it.