Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ye Olde Novelty Songs: "A Bird in a Gilded Cage"

In honour of the gold rush demimondes that I'm reading so much about, here's a song they were known to sing in the far-north dance halls at the turn of the century: "A Bird in a Gilded Cage." Picture them decked out in diamonds, gold nuggets, and silk, illuminated by gaslight, surrounded by dirty and horny (but rich) men and performing until 5am. Amazing, beautiful, and terrible.

The singer is the largely forgotten Beatrice Kay who was known for her authentic reinterpretations of songs from that period. This comes from her "Gay Nineties" album, which has no date on it, but I bet it was recorded in the late '50s. There are many contradictory stories about why her voice sounds like that, most involving injury or illness.

PS: Visitors from the future, this link is bound to break eventually.


Hilda said...

I don't know about everyone else, but I think this little ditty is just begging for a Muffy Mini-Drag Show!

Muffy! Muffy! Muffy!

Adam Thornton said...

You know, the thought had NEVER ocurred to me! It's so slow and deliberate...but that could be a good challenge.

With a bit of editing it might be doable! And it might just be done. :)

Thanks, Hilda!