Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, "Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side"
He said, "Hey honey, take a walk on the wild side"
|Wild: Lou Reed|
My theme today is crossdressing lyrics. I'm not talking about crossdressing anthems, the songs we sing (or wish we were singing) every time it's karaoke night. Examples here are legion; my personal recommendations are obviously Man! I Feel like a woman! by Shania Twain, or even better, All woman by Lisa Stansfield (which contains the unforgettable statement: I may not be a lady, but I'm all woman). Of course, you know at least a dozen more in this vein. Sing it with Aretha: You make me feel like a natural woman!
No, I am talking about song lyrics which expressly feature crossdressing or something very similar. My interest in this theme was prompted by my hearing today of the song Barbarian by Voice of the Beehive. OK, you've never heard of them, but towards the end of the last century, they were amazing:
He's making all these promises you know he cannot keepActually, the behaviour of the titular protagonist of the song is less than stellar:
He made me pick him up now he won't pay for gasoline
He's drinking all my beers, he's wearing all my clothes
And if he winks at me again, I think I'll take him home
He's started all my worries and he's finished all my wine
He's giving me a headache but I still think he's divine
He says he has a question, he starts tugging at my clothes
Would I be good enough to take him to his girlfriend's home?
|Who lives in a house like theese?|
In number 69 there lives a transvestite
He’s a man by day but he’s a woman at night
There’s a man in number 4 who swears he’s Saddam Hussein
Says he’s on a chore to start the third world war
And finally, there is an entire song: Dude (Looks like a lady) by Aerosmith. I was going to post a lengthy and meaningful commentary on the lyrics, but unfortunately, in transcription they are close to meaningless. However, the title is plain enough. Wikipedia suggests the song was inspired when Steven Tyler went drinking in New York with Vince Neil of Motley Crue, and they ended up in a bar full of male waiters in drag. On the other hand, a later reference suggests it may have been about Vince Neil himself. Er....no. At least, not without a lot more than plucking his eyebrows and shaving his legs, as Lou Reed might have put it. (By the way, the barmaid isn't me!)
I'm afraid I also don't count mainstream songs which sound almost too good to be true. Here is Lenka, in her beautiful song (one of my favourites) The Show:
Slow it down, make it stopCrossdressing lyrics really make me prick up my ears, so these are the ones I have most obviously noted. I hope you will drop by and add your own. Lyrics from the Rocky Horror Show are automatically excluded as being too easy!
or else my heart is going to pop,
'Cause it's too much, yeah it's a lot
to be something I'm not,
I'm a fool out of love
'cause I just can't get enough.
All together now: doop, dedoop, dedoop; doop dedoop doop, dedoop, dedoop...
Addendum 22nd October 2012
How could I forget this one? Fish has always been one of my favourite lyricists, even though his voice is not what it used to be these days. How many lyricists do you know who practically invented a girls' first name? I have several of his albums. One of his lesser known album tracks is called Lady Let it Lie, from the album Yin. Though I have listened closely, the song isn't about crossdressing in any way, but it does feature the following intriguing lyric:
All the boys want to be all the girls,My thanks also to Ralph for drawing my attention to Lola in his comment below. To my eternal shame, I didn't know this song was about a transvestite. Initially I even thought Ralph was talking about the song which begins Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl..., but no! The lyrics from The Kinks go like this:
In this turnaround world,
I don't wanna be me no more.
Well I'm not dumb but I can't understandAnd I also found a very strange coincidence. Fish recorded a cover version of the song Apeman on his 1993 album Songs from the Mirror. Apeman was originally from the The Kinks' album Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part 1, which was the album from which Lola originally came. Catchy title, though.
Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
Oh my Lola, lo-lo-lo-lo Lola, lo-lo-lo-lo Lola.
Cherry cola, anyone?
Addendum 3rd January 2013
How could I have forgotten this one? Monty Python's The Lumberjack Song.
I climb up trees, I wear high heels,===
Suspenders and a bra.
I wish I'd been a girlie,
Just like my dear Papa!
Addendum 9th June 2014
My thanks to Melissa Lynn for drawing my attention to this interesting discussion of the stories behind some of the songs I mention in this article, some more fanciful than others.