Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanks and Appreciation: Thank Heaven For Little Girls

Maurice Chevalier: Thank Heaven For Little Girls


Of all the things I'm thankful for, my daughters top the list; in a rare display of personal sentiment, that's them pictured above, with their best friend Arwen on a cold Cape Cod beach this summer.

This Maurice Chevalier "original" first entered our house as the opening track to That's What Little Girls Are Made Of, an eclectic collection of songs for fathers of daughters, and so that's what I've linked to above; it's one of the first kid-friendly albums I actually enjoyed, and though it gets sappy at times, I highly recommend it for all sensitive new fathers of tiny little girls.

But let's be honest: I'm posting this song today because I was sorely tempted to post it LAST week, as a coda of sorts to our Jailbait theme, with a comment on how changing cultural context can reframe the way a song sounds to its audience. After all, though this song was originally composed for the 1958 cinematic musical Gigi, where it was surely heard as sweetly as intended, it's worth remembering that in the film, the "little girl" Gigi grows up to become the love interest for her mentor; one reason that the play is seldom performed in this day and age may be that, to modern ears, a lyric which celebrates little girls primarily because they grow up to be big girls sets off some pretty serious alarm bells.

Indeed, I've long maintained that our current post-PC world would never allow such a song to be recorded without irony... and as if for proof, I offer the following grungy, hard-rocking, guitar-drenched cover from The Films, which practically drools with modern subtext. Don't say I didn't warn you...

The Films: Thank Heaven For Little Girls


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