Playing With The Old Songs

Ginger and The Schnappes is made up of 5 great musicians and 1 great vocalist: 

(L to R) Brian Bortz on bass, Joe Mixon on guitar, Dan Twaddell on sax and flute, Ginger Brew on vocals, Patrick Kerssen on keyboard, Vern Mobley on drums.

I love the old jazz standards.  It’s the clever lyrics that really draw me in.  I love the word play and the imagery suggested by these songs.  Sometimes, though, as clever as the songs are, they are dated.  The references don't quite hit home because they’re just not relevant anymore. You can usually still get the gist of the cleverness but the impact is not the same as when you live the references daily. 

That’s how I felt about the great jazz standard, The Lady Is A Tramp by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart.  Written in 1937, it’s about a down-to-earth woman who bucks the latest trends so gets labeled “a tramp” by her small minded “friends.”  Some of the references still make sense,


I get too hungry for dinner at eight

... I never bother with people I hate.


but some are kind of a stretch for today’s listeners:  


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. 


The food at Sardi's is perfect, no doubt, 

I wouldn't know what the Ritz is about, 

I drop a nickel and coffee comes out. 

That's why the lady is a tramp.  


It’s very well done but, nowadays, who is going to feel the impact of going to Coney Island for a beach day, sitting on bleachers at a professional baseball game and reading Walter Winchell’s column? Sardi’s is not the hot spot it once was, the Ritz-Carlton of today is not the Ritz of the 1930’s and the last automat in New York closed in 1991. So all these clever references are missing the mark in 2021.  

It’s still a well composed song with a clever premise and the band wanted to keep doing it.  So, with apologies to Mr Hart, I updated some of the examples in this great list song and put my own Jersey/Philly spin on it.   Ginger and The Schnappes now performs Lady is A Tramp as part of our regular repertoire -  It’s a lot of fun to sing and we get some laughs from the audience.  Enjoy! 

I get too hungry for dinner at eight,   
I go to NASCAR Yeah I think it’s great,  

I never bother with people I hate. 

That's why the lady is a tramp. 


I don’t have CoVID but still wear a mask, 

I’ll stay six feet, you don’t have to ask,  

My hands are clean, keep Purell in my flask. 

That’s why the lady is a tramp.   


  I love all my friends, no matter their race. 

  Live life with grace, 

  No bucks? Aw, shucks! 


And for the Eagles I whistle and stamp, 

That's why the lady is a tramp. 


I don’t like Twitter it’s so full of Jive, 

I can eat gluten and I don’t get hives,
I crave my cell phone, but not when I drive. 

That's why the lady is a tramp. 


My favorite people are dogs and felines, 

I missed the wedding Prince William won't mind, 

I think Kardashians got ugly behinds. 

That’s why the lady is a tramp. 


            I like to hang my hat wherever I please. 

Sail with the breeze. 

No dough? Heigh-ho! 

    I’m from New Jersey and think it’s the champ. 

That's why the lady is a tramp. 



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