Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It's a delicate suggestion - nothing more ...

A feminist classic of Edwardian times, recorded in 1932 by the Spanish mezzo-soprano Conchita Supervia.

I once walked with her by the Arno, in Florence, where navvies engaged in road work put down their picks and stared in frank admiration as she passed. Supervia, without even a glance in their direction, sensed their admiration and visibly preened herself.

"You surely don’t enjoy men looking at you like that?" I asked.

"I do," she replied, amused at such a very Anglo-Saxon question. "I don’t find it unpleasant to think that they are all saying to themselves, “If I was a rich man, that’s what I’d want.”"

If you want to learn a lesson with the fan,
I'm quite prepared to teach you all I can
So ladies, every one, pray observe how it is done,
It's a simple little lesson with the fan.

If you chance to be invited to a ball,
And meet someone that you don't expect at all,
And you want him close beside you,
While a dozen friends divide you,
Well of course, it's most unladylike to call,

So you look at him a minute - nothing more
And you cast your eyes demurely on the floor,
And you wave your fan just so,
Well, towards you, don't you know,
It's a delicate suggestion - nothing more ...

When you see him coming to you, simple you,
Oh be very, very careful what you do
With your fan just kindly play,
And look down as if to say
It's a matter of indifference to you,

Then you flutter and you fidget with it so,
And you hide your little nose behind it so,
And when he begins to speak
You just lay it on your cheek,
In that fascinating manner that you know,

And when he tells the old tale o'er and o'er,
And vows that he will love you evermore,
Gather up your little fan
And secure him while you can,
It's a delicate suggestion - nothing more ...

(When she takes a crack at an English song the results are quite charming.)


Anonymous said...

Oh puh-leeese, she is what the neg was invented for. She'd soon run off with the first navvie who knew how to push her submission buttons.

Jim said...

Quando m'en vo,
Quando m'en vo,
soletta per la via,
la gente sosta e mira....