(This is song was a big hit when originally released, and was showcased in an animated feature with a well-known cartoon character, but it’s actually a morality tale about the evils of drug abuse. The song reappeared in an iconic movie of the 1980s, sung by the original artist, re-introducing the musical genre to a new generation).
The song concerns a young lady who was a very attractive prostitute, as hard as women get, but she really was a nice person inside. She was having an affair with a disreputable gentleman who she really loved despite the fact he was a cocaine user. They went out together in to the Chinese ghetto, where he introduced her to smoking opium. In her opiate-induced fantasies, she dreamed about being being part of upper-class society, having a lot of money and being given nice things. She then became a successful marijuana dealer but was never confident of her success.
Name that tune?
(As an extra bonus .. the extended lyrics of the song, not often heard of, continue her story …)
She and her boyfriend went on a binge, and got arrested. They were put in the back of a police van and taken to gaol. She gave the bail money to her boyfriend who kept it and disappeared, leaving her incarcerated. Whilst in prison, she was visited by a religious gentleman who preached moderation. In response she made suggestive pelvic movements, implying the offer of sexual congress. So she was taken to the insane asylum, where she died, which was pretty much the
end of the matter.
Our protagonist was really a good girl, but was the unfortunate victim of circumstances.
I can now reveal that the answer was ‘Minnie the Moocher’ by Cab Calloway.
Probably best known from the movie ‘the Blues Brothers’
but also from the Betty Boop cartoon of the same name.
But perhaps the best version of all was by Hugh Laurie (a.k.a Dr House)
and Stephen (‘Qi’) Fry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ_R8QBeYvs
(Mark Nunn gets an Island Networks t-shirt, just as soon as they are printed, probably sometime next month.)