Well here’s why. Since turning a bit older I have felt invisible, unknown, under-respected and finished. After all biology and our culture here in the USA tells us that a woman my age must give up on sexuality and attractiveness. These songs scream against that idea. That a women is what she is told she is. That her power is given and not just inherent. That she must pass some test, be the proper weight, height and be feminine and submissive. Ladies and Gents., I have no interest in being any of those things nor am I doing this for attention like a woman hoping to grasp at the last straws of her beauty.
These songs speak to me because I feel invisible and dishonored. Just like many women did when they were first written and many do now with a misogynist president, sexual abusers still in power and the threat of rape like a wind constantly blowing over too exposed skin. It is nice to stand up and tell a lover how to love me, to kiss me, to hold back when I say so and do it how I like because I like it like that and if they don’t I’ll walk away and find a new one! How cool it is to claim my experience as a woman, a lover and a creatrix.
No, it is not the same reason these songs were done back then, although I do think Sophie Tucker did this choose scream out that cry too later in her career. That of the older, more experienced woman stating her power on the stage! The others who sang these like Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Lil Johnson and more did so in an era when it was important for women, especially African American women and all brave women (Mae West comes to mind) began to speak out and up.
The 1910’s where the earliest songs in our act are from …also the 1920’s when we (women) got the vote, cut our hair, smoked and shouted out the fact that we have a right to good sex, nice men, love, respect and honor and the decades that followed where this same message rang out even if not always totally successful!
My real Granny was a flapper and proud of it. My Grandmother was an emancipated wild woman at a time when that was impossible. I named this act for her and her bloomers which were always hot and always sexy!
A lot of people ask me why I sing these dirty songs. They aren’t dirty to me…they are a howling form of empowerment. They unleash the dominant lioness in this old girl and the same in the women in my audience! The men seem to love them too because they are strong, funny and fierce.
Plus, truly everyone leaves a little turned on and that’s why I call it Burlesque for your ears…and your mind.
List below of the songs we do. We change it up a little each time!