Friday, December 26, 2008

Catwoman runs runs out of lives

Eartha Kitt, whose seductive voice propelled her to fame, died of cancer on Christmas Day at age 81. Appropriately enough, one of Kitt's biggest hits was a Christmas song, her 1953 tune "Santa Baby." Kitt was perhaps best known for her TV career, where she played Catwoman in the cheeky 1960s Batman series.She was nominated for Tony, Emmy, and Grammy awards during her long career.
Via The Daily Beast

I have always had a soft spot for the campy old Batman's catwoman. I think, as a kid she opened a sort of Pandora's Box, the lid of which I have never been able to reseal. Exotic, strange, incredible voice. Easily qualifies as The One & Only. Of her performances I like 'I wanna be evil' for its sly, racy lines - which, in the context of the era in which they were sung must have been unimaginably provocative (so much so the sheet music was 'beeped'. It is hard to imagine today when almost anything goes.

I've posed for pictures with Iv'ry Soap,
I've petted stray dogs, and shied clear of dope
(I've petted stray dogs, and I never mope)*
My smile is brilliant, my glance is tender
But I'm noted most for my unspoiled gender

I've been made Miss Reingold, though I never touch beer,
(I've been named Miss Perseverance year after year,)*
And I'm the person to whom they say, "Your sweet, My Dear."
The only etchings I've seen have been behind glass,
And the closest I've been to a bar, is at ballet class.

Prim and proper, the girl who's never been cased,
I'm tired of being pure and not chased.
Like something that seeks it's level
I wanna go to the devil.

I wanna be evil, I wanna spit tacks
I wanna be evil, and cheat at jacks
I wanna be wicked, I wanna tell lies
I wanna be mean, and throw mud pies

I want to wake up in the morning
with that dark brown taste
I want to see some dissipation in my face
I wanna be evil, I wanna be mad
But more that that I wanna be bad

I wanna be evil, and trump an ace,
Just to see my partner's face.
I wanna be nasty, I wanna be cruel
I wanna be daring, I wanna shoot pool

And in the theatre
I want to change my seat
Just so I can step on
Everybody's feet

I wanna be evil, I wanna hurt flies
I wanna sing songs like the guy who cries
I wanna be horrid, I wanna drink booze
(I want to be horrid, I want to make news)*
And whatever I've got I'm eager to lose

I wanna be evil, little evil me
Just as mean and evil as I can be

*Lyrics in italic are the "official" printed lyrics. Also, throughout the song "wanna" is printed as "want to" Via The Eartha Kitt fan club

Her daughter, from a brief marriage is called Kitt McDonald, which made me smile when I read it in her obituary because my son, Taylor MacGregor's mother's unmarried name was Taylor (I wonder how common that tradition is?).

A unique talent departs. So it goes.

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