The Sadder But Wiser Girl

August 8, 2014 3:56 PM

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The Sadder But Wiser Girl

It's amazing how one song can capture a culture's idealized view of women. In 1919, the great American songwriter, Irving Berlin, had been hired by Florenz Ziegfeld to write a musical number which would glorify the showgirls in the 1919 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies. "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody" went on to become the theme song for subsequent editions of the Follies and, until 1955, was closely associated with the annual Miss America Pageant.

Ziegfeld's stage spectacles were often devoted to glorifying feminine beauty. In the 1936 movie musical biography, The Great Ziegfeld, "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody" became the foundation for a massive production number which, in retrospect, manages to be musically hilarious as well as a showcase ...

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