Sunday, May 25, 2008

Frank Sinatra: Idiot

I work in a family owned Italian-American restaurant, run by a guy who identifies more with the media’s portrayal of his culture than anything else. Playing into this stereotype, he is a huge Frank Sinatra fan; in order to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Sinatra’s death (morbid as that is) we had a special menu featuring some of Frank’s favorite dishes.

My pitch to guests: ‘In order to commemorate the death of a drunken womanizer…’

Anyway, we were forced to listen to nothing but Sinatra music for a week, which is cruel and unusu
al punishment for anyone. And after the fifteenth time of listening to ‘The Lady is a Tramp,’ I couldn’t take it anymore. The song doesn’t make any sense. None of the things that allegedly make this woman a tramp are even remotely tramp-esque. For example:

She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight
She loves the theater, but doesn't come late

She'd never bother, with people she'd hate

That's why the lady is a tramp.

So to Sinatra, needing to eat before eight o’clock makes you a tramp? Arriving on time to the theatre is just common courtesy to the players and the rest of the audience, and if you loved the theater you wouldn’t want to miss any of it so you would be sure to get there before the show started. Okay, never bothering with people that you hate might cause you a bit of social unease, since we are forced to deal with people we don’t like all the time (like Sinatra). But all this verse identifies this woman as is hypoglycemic, courteous, and uninterested in putting on a façade for people she doesn’t care for. None of this would make me consider a woman a tramp.

Doesn'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 those girls

That's why the lady is a tramp

So this woman doesn’t want to hang on Sinatra’s arm while he plays craps with a bunch of rich land owners who participate in a caste system? That just seems like common sense. Though I’ve never been to Harlem, I wouldn’t imagine it is a place you would want to stroll around in a fur coat with pearls. And not gossiping with other women is a virtue. Again, not a tramp, only a woman who seems like a decent person to be around.

The song goes on and on, but never are we given any evidence as to exactly why we should consider this woman a tramp. In my book, if you re my girl and have sex with my father, that would make you a tramp. But the ability to be your own person even around a powerful, pompous asshole like Sinatra makes you anything but a tramp.

What a stupid song.

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