The Lady Is a Tramp

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"The Lady Is a Tramp"
Song by Mitzi Green
Published1937 by Chappell & Co.
Composer(s)Richard Rodgers
Lyricist(s)Lorenz Hart

"The Lady Is a Tramp" is a show tune from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms, in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. This song is a spoof of New York high society and its strict etiquette (the first line of the verse is "I get too hungry for dinner at eight...") and phony social pretensions. It has become a popular music standard.

The song appears in the film version of Babes in Arms (1939) as an instrumental version only.


Early recordings from 1937 include one by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra (featuring Edythe Wright on vocals), Midge Williams and Her Jazz Jesters, Sophie Tucker, and Bernie Cummins on the Vocalion records label (#3714). Lena Horne recorded the song with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Orchestra on March 30, 1948. Her performance appeared in the film Words and Music, a fictionalized biography of the partnership of Rodgers and Hart.

The song was also used in the film version of Pal Joey starring Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth. Joey Evans (Sinatra) sings the song to Vera Simpson (Hayworth) as he tries to entice the wealthy widow Simpson into financing Evans's dream of owning his own night club.

It was recorded by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Greco (whose version updates the lyrics to include several 1950s pop-culture references), Bing Crosby[1] (for his radio shows) and Pat Suzuki in the 1950s, and Shirley Bassey in the 1960s, becoming a signature song for Sinatra. He sang the song with new lyrics as "The Gentleman Is a Champ" at tribute events for Spiro Agnew and Orson Welles, also recording a new version titled "Maureen Is a Champ" for Ringo Starr's wife Maureen Starkey; never commercially released, it was issued on the Beatles' Apple Records as Apple 1.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga duet[edit]

"The Lady Is a Tramp"
Single by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
from the album Duets II
ReleasedSeptember 20, 2011
Producer(s)Phil Ramone
Tony Bennett singles chronology
"Body and Soul"
"The Lady Is a Tramp"
"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"
Lady Gaga singles chronology
"You and I"
"The Lady Is a Tramp"
"Marry the Night"
Music video
"The Lady Is a Tramp" on YouTube

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga recorded a version of this song for his 2011 album Duets II. Bennett praised Gaga's performance in the song, saying that she is a real "jazz lady". They performed the song on ABC's Thanksgiving special dedicated to, written, directed, produced and hosted by Gaga, entitled A Very Gaga Thanksgiving.[2] They were the opening number, singing next to an old piano in a casual obscure room.[3] Bennett said, "I see in Lady Gaga a touch of theatrical genius, she is very creative and very productive, I think as time goes on she might be America's Picasso. I think she's going to become as big as Elvis Presley."[4] The song, even though not officially released, got to enter the Japan Hot 100 chart, where it managed to reach the top 40. It also entered the top 200 extension to the UK Singles Chart.[5][6]

Following the single, Bennett drew a sketch of Gaga naked for the January 2012 issue of Vanity Fair, which was then auctioned for $30,000. The money raised went to charity, supporting the Exploring the Arts (ETA) and Born This Way Foundation.[7]

The song as well as its music video received critical acclaim for both Bennett and Gaga's vocals as well as for the simplicity of the video, which departed from Gaga's previous efforts. The song received praise from both E![8] and MTV.[9] Other critics expressed hopes that Gaga would release her own jazz music after this successful effort.[10]

Music video[edit]

The duo filmed a music video for the track.[9][11] The video shows Bennett and Gaga singing "The Lady Is a Tramp" together in a studio in front of music stands. The video received a largely positive critical reception.[9][12][13]


Chart (2011) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[14] 16
Italy (FIMI)[15] 50
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[16] 33
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 188
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[17] 21
US Jazz Digital Songs (Billboard)[18] 1

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for "The Lady Is a Tramp"
Region Date Format Label(s) Ref.
Various September 20, 2011 Digital download [19]
Italy October 21, 2011 Radio airplay Sony Music Italy [20]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "'A Very Gaga Thanksgiving': 5 Things We Want to See". Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Gil (November 4, 2011). "Lady Gaga To Host Thanksgiving Special". MTV News. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  4. ^ "New Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga – "The Lady Is A Tramp" Video". The Audio Perv. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  5. ^ "Tony Bennett Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK – Update 15.10.2011". Zobbel. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "Tony Bennett's Nude Lady Gaga Sketch Auctioned for $30,000". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  8. ^ "Lady Gaga "Tramps" It Up With Tony Bennett in New Music Video". E!. October 3, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Montgomery, James (October 3, 2011). "Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett 'Tramp' It Up In New Video – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  10. ^ "Lady Gaga Is A Broadway Baby On Tony Bennett Duet 'The Lady Is A Tramp'". September 15, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  11. ^ "Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett unveil 'The Lady Is a Tramp' video – Music News". Digital Spy. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's 'The Lady is a Tramp' [Video]". February 19, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  13. ^ "The Lady Is A Tramp Video: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga". October 4, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  14. ^ "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – The Lady Is A Tramp" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  15. ^ "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga". Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Lady Gaga Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  17. ^ "Lady Gaga Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  18. ^ "Jazz Digital Songs: October 8, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  19. ^ "The Lady Is A Tramp: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: MP3 Downloads". Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  20. ^ Spada, Valentina (October 17, 2011). "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - The Lady Is A Tramp (Radio Date: 21 Ottobre 2011)". (in Italian).
  21. ^ "Plymouth Scamp Commercial (1974)," YouTube, posted October 31, 2015,