During the lock down I’ve found myself listening to old CDs and been pleasantly surprised how some of them, or at least short extracts, can be seen as endorsements for cross dressing and hence lift the spirits. Recently I have found three examples. When dressed in drab I have never felt handsome or good looking but one of the most enjoyable feelings for me when I dress is that I think I look pretty (others seems to agree) and I definitely feel pretty. This extract from “I feel pretty” a song in the musical West Side Story sums it up:
I feel pretty
Oh, so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn’t me tonight!
I feel charming
Oh, so charming
It’s alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I’m real
See the pretty girl in that mirror there
Who can that attractive girl be?
Such a pretty face
Such a pretty dress
Such a pretty smile
Such a pretty me!*
*Originally released 1957, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
And I think it is worth remembering that it is not only the young who can look and feel pretty. Us older gals can too; testified by my two favourite elderly ladies who always inspire me – Helen Mirren and Judy Dench.
The song “Lola” from the Kinks is rather darker and has been accused of being transphobic. I don’t see the song in that way and I suspect that any transphobia is in the mind of the listener rather than implicit in the song itself. The following lines have particular significance for me:
Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man
In one of my outings to a restaurant as HildaRuth I got chatting to a waitress about my cross dressing and she said to me, “Well it wasn’t until you gave me your order that I realised you weren’t a woman. Your voice gave you away!” We had a good laugh about that. And these lines say it all, really:
Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world*
*Originally released on Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, Pye/Reprise Labels, 1970
The third song is “Juanita” sung by Shania Twain:
She is the restless river
running through my veins
She rides without the reins–
her name’s Juanita
She lives in the heart of every
woman in the world
Within the reach of every girl
who wants to meet her.
Oh, go with her–flow with her
Dream with her–scream with her
Let her take over, or just get to know her
Be everything you can be
If you can find her and free her
Juanita will unchain your heart
When someone tries to take
away the freedom of your choice
To take away your voice–
that’s when you need her
She’s there if you dare to give
your broken wings a try
C’mon and take a leap and fly,
and you can be her*
* Up! Mercury Nashville Label, 2002
Just substitute your femme name for Juanita and you have a wonderful anthem for crossdressing.
Of course, I have taken liberties in being selective as to my extracts and taking the songs somewhat out of context. I think I’m justified and all three of the songs have given me encouragement to acknowledge the HildaRuth within. I hope they might do the same for you. And I think we’d all be delighted to know of other lyrics that do the same.