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Gay Song Five – Bing Crosby Goes ' Gay For Pay '

AC Benus

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Gay Song Five – Bing Crosby goes 'Gay for Pay'

 

Note: for this series of postings, the term 'Gay Song' refers to music written to/for/by or about Gay men or women. A second category also deals with music identified as Gay because it speaks to the heart of the Gay Experience.

 

So to make this easier, I will call them Gay in the 1st Degree (to/for/by/about), or Gay in the 2nd Degree (like Judy Garland singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow).

 

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Gay in the 2nd degree is Bing Crosby's gloriously camp Gay Love! Positively dripping with innuendo, the languorous beat (….off beat, really) bobs along like a pair of lovers getting up to some hanky panky on the porch swing (in Ole Argentina!). People in the life back in 1929 knew exactly what this song was about, and that it was marketed to them. Gay money, in case you did not know it, has always been green ;)

 

As for the use of the word 'gay' in the lyrics, sadly when it comes to matters of LGBT history, homo-deniers have struck again and printed information designed to obscure the origins of our cultural heritage. What is known for sure is that Cary Grant uttered the immortal line: "I just went Gay all of a sudden!" This was in 1938, and Grant adlibbed the line for the film Bringing Up Baby. The image on screen left no doubt as to what he meant (…he was wearing a lady's dressing gown at the time, and did a little leap in the air for emphasis).

 

Now, how would Mr. Grant know such an insider's term? *clears throat* Cary's long-term partnership with another Hollywood heartthrob, Randolph Scott, was an open 'secret' for decades.[1]

 

Thank you Gay Love! We owe you a lot.

 

 

So, what do you think?

 

 

 

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[1] Here, when I say well-documented, I mean well-documented! For Grant and Scott's love, see Full Service by Scotty Bowers (New York 2012), Completely Queer: the Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia (New York 1998), Queers in History (Dallas 2009), and Vito Russo's classic, The Celluloid Closet (New York 1987). Also see Russo's book for the use of Gay in Bringing Up Baby. For the currency of Gay as a term for same-sex loving people before 1929, see Carter Bealer's first-hand accounts of being out in the Nineteen-teens and Twenties. His witty diary entries show Gay was not such a big deal at the time. Jeb and Dash: a Diary of Gay Life 1918-1945 (Boston 1993).

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Let me know if the link does not work for you; I see there are a few others. 

 

Here is Grant. The adlibbed line following this exchange includes "Well, this is not mine. I mean, I don't own one of these."

 

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The song is great. And Mr. Grant looks rather nice in his silk and fluff. Not my thing personally...

 

But sometimes if feels like people's attitudes haven't changed much. But i live in hope!!

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The song is great. And Mr. Grant looks rather nice in his silk and fluff. Not my thing personally...

 

But sometimes if feels like people's attitudes haven't changed much. But i live in hope!!

...I've been walking around all day singing this song in my head. Thank goodness I did not break into open chorus at the supermarket! hehe

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Both perfectly delectable AC!

 

When it was rattling around in your head at the supermarket, were you sashaying down the aisles too?   What a vision!

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Both perfectly delectable AC!

 

When it was rattling around in your head at the supermarket, were you sashaying down the aisles too?   What a vision!

I just barely resisted the little leaps, because apparently that's what we Gay guys do ;)

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I just barely resisted the little leaps, because apparently that's what we Gay guys do ;)

I'm with you.. i quite often break into a series of leaps down the sidewalk. Sometimes I end that with a twirl!  And people smiled kindly and say, "oh it's so wonderful when the Gays are out-they bring such sunshine and rainbows to the world. Making it look like it's been touched with fairy glitter!"

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I'm with you.. i quite often break into a series of leaps down the sidewalk. Sometimes I end that with a twirl!  And people smiled kindly and say, "oh it's so wonderful when the Gays are out-they bring such sunshine and rainbows to the world. Making it look like it's been touched with fairy glitter!"

hehe

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On 4/7/2016 at 6:33 PM, AC Benus said:

...thanks, guys. It's nice to know somebody is looking at these...

some of us look twice...💞

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