The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“The Lady Is A Tramp” By Betty Garret

“The Lady Is A Tramp” is a show tune from the musical “Babes in Arms”. This musical is about a group of teenagers from Long Island New York. They put on a show to avoid being sent to work at the farm by the sheriff. Their parents are actors who go on the road for five months to earn money. “Babes in Arms” was created into a film in 1939 which Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney starred in. The film was directed by Busby Berkeley. “The Lady is a Tramp” was featured in the movie, but only as an instrumental piece.

Mitzi Green, the former child star, sang this song on Broadway. Mitzi was born in the Bronx in October of 1920. She began acting at the age of three under the name “Little Mitzi”. She made her Broadway debut in “Babes in Arms”. She sang “My Funny Valentine” and “The Lady is a Tramp”. The song opens with “I get to hungry for dinner at eight”. The character is singing about the high society of living in New York. Her character is not interested in the social pretensions and strict etiquette of the city life. This song has been redone by artists like Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. The Disney movie “Lady and the Tramp” is a play off the song title. Lastly, the show “Glee” did this musical number in the first season of the show.

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