I dedicate my song today to three of my Facebook friends who are celebrating their birthday. They are Ber Glascott who lives in Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary, Ireland: Patricia Bermingham O’Sullivan who lives in Carlow, Ireland, and Rachel Upton who is the neighbour and wife of the Baptist Minister of Haworth. Enjoy your special day and thank you for being my Facebook friend.
My song today is ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’. This song is from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical ‘Babes in Arms’ which was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. This song is a spoof of New York high society and its strict etiquette and phony social pretensions. It has become a popular music standard. The song became the signature song for Sinatra.
I was introduced to this song when I saw the film version of ‘Pal Joey’ starring Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, and Kim Novak. Joey Evans (Sinatra) sings the song to Vera Simpson (Hayworth) as he tries to entice the wealthy widow Simpson into financing Evans's dream of owning his own nightclub.
Generally, the wealthy often resent getting their hands dirty if they can pay someone else to get another pair of hands dirty on their behalf. I must put my hands up to the fact that over a number of years, I have been privileged to have been able to afford a cleaner for my house. When I first got married at the age of 26 years, my then socialistic principles would not have even condoned the possible notion of using another person to clean the house in which I and my family lived. When my wife and I worked outside the home, it became necessary to employ a cleaner, and I still resisted the impulse to employ somebody until my sister Mary offered to clean weekly for us.
My sister Mary had been a cleaner for over ten years at the time, and for some strange reason, I found it more acceptable to use the services of my sister than a stranger, especially as she seemed more than willing to perform the weekly task. When I married Sheila, I discovered that she had also employed a cleaner for many years before she knew me; due to her own work commitments.
The cleaner Sheila and I have is a wonderful woman who has been with us for years. I do not feel bad anymore about having a cleaner come in for four hours weekly, especially as it enables me to practice what I believe, and I am able to apply my old shop steward principles. I believe that whatever type of worker is essential to one’s circumstances ought to be amply rewarded for their services. I personally see no reason why one person should earn more hourly than another for handling the same product. If one took a ‘brush’, a ‘duster’ a ‘mop and bucket’ for example, why should a person who handles each of these items during the course of their daily job be paid more or less than another worker handling the same items in a different capacity, and occupation?
Who is it that decides a cleaner is worth less than a shopkeeper who sells such products, or even the person who designs, manufactures, or tests such products before they arrive on the market for sale? The one thing I was able to do was to pay the person who cleaned for me a better hourly rate than most other cleaners in the country gets paid. Indeed, her hourly rate equalled that hourly rate her tradesman husband earned, and there were an automatic annual increase and a holiday bonus at Christmas time. By such means, I have been able to assuage my conscience about using a cleaner.
During most of the past year, Sheila and I have had to do our own house cleaning during the lockdown periods. I have come to accept this weekly task far better than I would have initially imagined, given my disabilities in some bending and the absence of agility of right-arm movement when it comes to polishing furniture above my head level, after badly dislocating my shoulder several years ago.
I am able to truthfully testify that Sheila is not only a beautiful person inside and out, but she knows how to get down on the floor and do the dirty whenever required. She’s no tramp; she’s my lady!
Love and peace