Song of the Day: The Lady Is a Tramp by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald

Marie by ~YukoRabbit

The Lady Is a Tramp” is a show tune from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. This song is a spoof of New York high society and its strict etiquette (the first line of the verse is “I get too hungry for dinner at eight…”). It has become a popular standard.


I’ve wined and dined on Mulligan Stew
And never wished for Turkey
As I hitched and hiked and grifted too
From Maine to Albuquerque

Alas, I missed the ‘Beaux Arts Ball’
And what is twice as sad
I was never at a party where
They honored Noel Coward

But social circles spin too fast for me
My hobohemia is the place to be

I get too hungry, for dinner at eight
I like the theater, but never come late
I never bother, with people I hate
That’s why the lady is a tramp

I don’t like crap games, with barons and earls
Won’t go to Harlem, in ermine and pearls
Won’t dish the dirt, with the rest of the girls
That’s why the lady is a tramp

I like the free, fresh wind in her hair
Life without care, I’m broke, it’s okay
Hate California, it’s cold and it’s damp
That’s why the lady is a tramp

I go to Coney, the beach is divine
I go to ballgames, the bleachers are fine
I follow Winchell, and read every line
That’s why the lady is a tramp

I like a prizefight, that isn’t a fake
I love the rowing, on Central Park lake
I go to Opera and stay wide awake
That’s why the lady is a tramp

I like the green grass under my shoes
What can I lose, I’m flat, that’s that
I’m alone when I lower my lamp
That’s why the lady is a tramp


The song was also used in the 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.

Early recordings from 1937 include one by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra (featuring Edythe Wright on vocals), Midge Williams and Her Jazz Jesters, Sophie Tucker, and Bernie Cummins on the Vocalion records label (#3714). Lena Horne recorded the song with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Orchestra on March 30, 1948. Her performance appeared in the film, Words and Music, a fictionalized biography of the partnership of Rodgers and Hart.

It was recorded by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald in 1950s and Shirley Bassey in the 1960s, becoming a signature song for each of them. Buddy Greco’s version was a million seller in the 50s.

Frank Sinatra

Birth name Francis Albert Sinatra
Also known as Ol’ Blue Eyes
The Chairman of the Board
The Voice
Born December 12, 1915
Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.
Died May 14, 1998 (aged 82)
West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Genres Traditional pop, easy listening,jazz, swing, big band, vocal,vocal jazz
Occupations Singer, actor, producer,director, conductor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1935–1971, 1973–1995
Labels Columbia, Capitol, Reprise
Associated acts Rat Pack, Bing Crosby, Nancy Sinatra, Judy Garland, Quincy Jones, Antônio Carlos Jobim,Frank Sinatra, Jr., Dean Martin,Count Basie, Sammy Davis, Jr.

Ella Fitzgerald

Birth name Ella Jane Fitzgerald
Born April 25, 1917
Newport News, Virginia
Died June 15, 1996 (aged 79)
Beverly Hills, California
Genres Swing, Bebop, traditional pop,vocal jazz
Occupations Vocalist
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1934–1993
Labels Capitol, Decca, Pablo, Reprise,Verve
Website Official website

image by YukoRabbit

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