Tune Tuesday #42 – The Unmarried Female

Happy Tuesday!

The US wedding market is a 55 billion dollar industry and a 300 billion dollars industry world wide. Companies make major profits from those who say I do and may even take delight when people walk down the aisle more than once.

In college, I remember reading academic articles about the wedding industry and how girls from birth are branded with the ideas from the toys that are marked to them and the cartoons, tv shows and movies they watch that push the visuals of marriage and the desire to dream of, long for and be married when they grow up.

Today’s song ties in with the my current series on marriage and the idea of how it has been branded into pop culture. The song “Adelaide Lament” comes from the musical Guys and Dolls,  which occurred during a time period where women could only be wives or old maid and had fewer rights than their grand children.

As a pre-teen, I sang this song in my jr. high show choir. I loved singing with the accent and the playful dance moves, but deep down I questioned the lyrics. While we give women more space to go beyond this dichotomy, the imagery is in the back of many women’s minds and is still a strong influence on many women.

Today listen to the lyrics and consider how they make you feel.

Love – Stephanie

Adelaide’s Lament from Guys and Dolls

The average unmarried female
Basically insecure
Due to some long frustration may react
React?
With psychosomatic symptoms
Difficult to endure
Affecting the upper respiratory tract
Achoo
In other words
Just from waiting around
For that little band of gold
A person can develop a cold
You can spray her wherever you figure
The streptococci lurk
You can give her a shot
For whatever she’s got
But it just won’t work
If she’s tired of getting the fish-eye
From the hotel clerk
A person
Can develop a cold
The female remaining single, uh
Just in the legal sense, ahh
Shows a neurotic tendency
See note
Where’s note? Uh
Chronic organic syndromes
Toxic and hypertense
Involving the eye,
The ear and the nose and throat
Oh, that’s very interesting
In other words
Just from worrying
Whether the wedding is on or off
A person
Can develop a cough
You can feed her all day
With the Vitamin A
And the Bromo Fizz
But the medicine never
Gets anywhere near
Where the trouble is
If she’s getting a kind
Of name for herself
And the name ain’t “his”
A person
Can develop a cough
And further more
Just from stalling
And stalling and stalling
The wedding trip
A person
Can develop la grippe
When they get on a train For Niagara
And she can hear church bells chime
The compartment is air conditioned
And the mood sublime
They get off at Saratoga
For the fourteenth time
Well, a person
Can develop la grippe
La grippe, la post nasal drip
With the wheezes
And the sneezes
And a sinus that’s really a pip
From a lack of community property
And a feeling she’s getting too old
A person
Can develop a bad, a bad, a really, really bad cold
Ah, ah, ah ah achoo