Fashion in Song – The Tattooed Lady, 1959

Sung by Paddy Roberts, this 1959 comic song may have been more comical ¬†when it was recorded and tattooed women were only seen in circuses…

Oh, I was a bit of a lad, I admit:
My past was a trifle shady
Until in the end, I went right round the bend
And married a tattooed lady
I immediately saw there were pictures galore
Round every available corner
As I studied her frame, very soon I became
An expert in flora and fauna
On the back of each knee was a small chimpanzee
On her thigh was a Knight of the Garter
And, just for a laugh, they had put on her calf
Eight bars of the Moonlight Sonata
One evening I found as I ambled around
I was feeling an absolute Charlie
‘Cause I couldn’t be sure if the sketch on her jaw
Was Picasso or Salvador Dali
Some things I found out, I just won’t talk about
I find it’s inclined to embarrass
But I give you my word, though it may sound absurd
It was just like the Louvre in Paris
On one of her feet, you were liable to meet
A master of hounds in his habit
And right round her waist, in impeccable taste,
Was a python devouring a rabbit
I loved all the ships on one side of her hips
The view in Peru on the other
But I was struck dumb when I found on her tum
A caricature of her mother!
For this was much more than a man could endure
Though I made the most earnest endeavour
So I scuttled away and I’m happy to say
It was ta-ta tattoo forever
Ta-ta tattoo forever
Ta-ta tattoo…
Forever!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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