Friday, June 17, 2005

So Why Exactly Is The Lady A Tramp?

I’ve never understood “The Lady is a Tramp.”

The lyrics to that brassy Rogers & Hart tune made famous by Frank Sinatra, if you actually listen to them, ascribe to “The Lady” such qualities as one associates with a person of some social standing and breeding—not actual tramp-like qualities:

“She loves the theater, but doesn’t come late…” “She’d never bother with people she’d hate…” “Doesn’t like
dice games with sharpies and frauds…” “Won’t dish the dirt with the rest of those broads….”

Seems to me the lady is a class act.

Nevertheless, those are the lyrics that Frank Sinatra made famous, and that is the song he sang for the first record printed on The Beatles’ brand new Apple Corps label back in mid-1970.

The story, as told in Tony Bramwell’s “Magical Mystery Tours: My Life With The Beatles” (which is a must-have book for Father's Day, assuming you are a father and a Beatle's guy), goes like this: o
ne of the Beatles’ people decided it would be fun to have a new version of “The Lady Is A Tramp,” with lyrics slightly altered, sung by Frank Sinatra himself and presented as a birthday gift to Ringo’s wife, Maureen.

I’m not sure how Maureen felt about it, but since, back in those days, anything The Beatles wanted they could pretty much make happen, it happened exactly that way: Sammy Cahn rewrote the lyrics, Sinatra himself recorded the song, and one copy was pressed using the very first Apple Corps label and presented to Maureen.

Which makes “The Lady is a Tramp” the first printing of a record on Apple, before “Hey Jude.”

With important issues like this out of the way, on Monday we will return to current events—including an office furniture company that appears to offer good long term value, and the latest antics of our favorite CEO-of-a-money-losing-Internet-company, who used the recent Bear Stearns conference to repeat a false rumor about his two biggest competitors.

In the meantime, is it just me or does it seem pathetic that Washington is debating the existing of global warming while—as reported in today’s Wall Street Journal—glaciers in the Peruvian Andes are melting away at a thirty-feet-a-year rate—and they’ll be gone as quickly as 40 years from now?

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations.


Its_strange said...

well what you prefer Washington do ? Act ? Ignore ? Speed up the melting by lowering interest rates ?

Jeff Matthews said...

Eliminating the tax loophole that treats SUVs like trucks instead of cars would be one thing; classifying SUVs as "cars" rather than "trucks" under Federal mileage standards would be another; jacking up overall mileage requirements from 27.5 mpg to something like 40 would be another; raising federal taxes on gasoline would be a fourth...

Its_strange said...

Well i gotta figure Jeff's " liberalism " ( Why do we think that is liberal ? ) wouldn't fly in any political party today ..and certainly not the red states.

what uses more energy...a SUV or a McMansion ? ....i can afford a SUV but i certainly can't afford a big, fancy the 8 bedroom , 5 bath joint that is the home of 3 .............

Its_strange said...

OSTK's quarter ends soon and thier earnings are due out in about a month. Anyone looking for a surprise or perhaps something strange ?

RE said...


Many folks don't have the balls to go against the republician position, I appreicate your ideas on oil usage. I too agree with you...

As to special company in Utah - I recieved this email headline from them on Friday - "OMail Exclusive - Free shipping through this email" the must be trying hard to meet some quarter end numbers I would suspect.

joeditt said...

It's puzzling that obviously none of the previous comments deals with your question why the lady is named (or, if a woman sings the song, naming herself) a tramp.

However - I never wondered why this "lady" is (being called) a "tramp".

The lyrics describe a lady - just the way I, an Austrian, understand the German word "Dame" (don't you ponounce this English!) as a term for a cliche role. Traditionally first unsed for female members of the nobility, later also for merchant class women, especially when caring for fine outfits and hairstyles. In the 20th century, still some of these attributes were expected from women who were addressed as "ladies" not only for politeness reasons, and - as noble titles vanished - the term "real lady" became usual, sometimes used for women definitely belonging to the upper class, sometimes also for women seen "worth" to be patronizingly accepted by the upper class as (almost) equal.

All this has from the very beginning to do with bumptiousness and makes it quite understandable why especially progressive feminists reject it as insulting to be called "ladies". A drastic explanation is given by the ironical characterization of what and how ladies are expected to be in all the movie versions of the Stepford story.

The lady in this song is described, like you stated, a classy persion: self-conscious, intelligent, respectful but as well letting others know what her own will is and that she intends to decide and control her own fate. And thus, according to the definitions by those who use the term "lady" all too frequently and demanding women to fit into that sort of role, she refuses to be seen as a lady, instead provokingly states that she prefers to be seen as a "tramp" by all those bumptious folks exemplary mentioned: frauds, sharpies (guys who strive for being seen as "cool" by behaving as male chauvinists and wrapping their bodies, gym-styled merely for image reasons, in sharp clothets) "dirt-dishing" broads (bored, conniving gossip-talking P. Hilton clones), aso.

The woman's message: "call me a tramp, to me that's the best appreciation you bums are able to - should you ever seriously show me some esteem, then I'd have to worry what terribly mistake I must have made."