I Enjoy Being a Girl
|"I Enjoy Being a Girl"|
|Song from Flower Drum Song|
|Writer||Oscar Hammerstein II|
"I Enjoy Being a Girl" is a show tune from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song. It was originally performed in 1958, as the showpiece for the Linda Low showgirl character. The musical was a comedic love story about growing up Chinese in America, and the clash between the traditional values of the old country, and the modern ways of America.
Though Flower Drum Song was not as massively successful as other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, the song "I Enjoy Being a Girl" has been widely used in other productions. It has become a familiar tune to many, as the song has been recorded by performers including Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Pat Suzuki, and Phranc. The song has been parodied by Sarah Jessica Parker in a Gap commercial, as well as viral video works as "I Enjoy Being Al Gore", and works based on Harry Potter, Xena and Battlestar Galactica. Comedian Rosanne Barr also parodied the song in 1990. Alvin and the Chipmunks performed the song in the 1983 Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "A Dog's Best Friend Is His Chipmunk" (with new lyrics specifically for the episode). It also was parodied in Episode 24 of season 3 of "The Muppet Show" by Cheryl Ladd and Miss Piggy while bashing a dummy and Kermit and rampaging in Cheryl Ladd's dressing room.
The lyrics praise the traditional values of being a woman, who longs to be the object of a man's affection. The song notably lacks in political correctness, especially after the rise of the women's movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It is often considered to be "camp" or "kitsch", and has frequently been performed by drag queens.
The main recordings are by the original Broadway cast with Pat Suzuki on LP and CD, the new David Henry Hwang version on CD, and the movie soundtrack, in which the song was sung by B. J. Baker (not of Asian descent).
- List of recordings at Allmusic (accessed 6 July 2011).
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