Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Little Girls?

Last Friday, I played one of my favorite songs on the radio, even though I doubt that many folks share my enthusiasm for this song. It is "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" by Maurice Chevalier. I don't know anything about the song except that it is from Gigi which I have never seen. The track is on an MGM musicals compilation at the station, so I don't even know what other songs are from that film. It is hard to imagine the context in which Chevalier performs this song:

"Each time I see a little girl of five or six or seven, I can't resist a joyous urge to smile and say: Thank heaven for little girls, For little girls get bigger every day. Thank heaven for little girls, They grow up in the most delightful way."

It's interesting how some songs just don't hold up as well in today's society. The melody of the song is very cute and springy, and Chevalier's French accent is charming and light. But god, what creepy lyrics. Maybe there was less fear of pedophiles in the 50's.


grady said...

Atlantic Monthly obit writer Mark Steyn has used this story in at least two different articles over the past couple of years; here's a link to one: link

"Alan Jay Lerner, who wrote the script and lyrics for Gigi, once told me about the first run-through of "Thank Heaven For Little Girls." At the end, a worried Maurice Chevalier turned to Lerner for reassurance: "How was I?"

"Perfect," said Alan, looking at it from the songwriter's point of view. "I could understand every word."

"No, no," said Chevalier. "Did I sound French enough?""

The Singing Patient said...

when i was 6 this was the song we did our ballet routine to. i only remember that because we were each given a 45 of the song to practice the routine to at home. on the flipside of the 45 was a raucous version of the portuguese washerwoman, a version which i have ben looking for for years. (e me if you know where i can find it!)
yes listening now it is creepy.
that same year we were given the lecture at school on not talking to strangers. someone was looking out for us!

Charlotte said...

Hmm. I looked on Itunes, and there are a few versions there. There is also an MP3 download of a different version on Amazon.

Good luck! That song sounds great.