"I was a queen to him. Who's gonna make me gay now?" -He Was Too Good to Me
As I confessed last week, I don't know much about the Smiths. I could look something up, but I thought I'd share with you instead one of my favorite lyrics from a great American songwriter: Lorenz "Larry" Hart.
Hart was the first writing partner of composer Richard Rodgers. Among their songs are a host of standards. "My Funny Valentine", "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "Little Girl Blue", "I Could Write a Book" and "Manhattan" are among the best known, but there are dozens more. Rodgers went on to work with a guy named Hammerstein, and I'd imagine some of you know those songs, but I love the stuff he wrote with Hart, who had a wit to rival Cole Porter's.
What actually makes this lyric a favorite of mine is that this song was sung by a female character, but Hart was a gay man speaking in code. Knowing that most people who hear that won't get it always makes me smile big on the inside when I hear it. It's a song of our grandparents' generation, and I betcha most of them didn't get it. So now you do ;)