six of one, none of the other

      6 Comments on six of one, none of the other

So. As Your Humble Blogger begins the process for As You Like It, it will have occurred to eager GRs to wonder what would be the theme of the Tenth Play Playlist List. Well, and you all probably aren’t so much wondering, as it’s obvious: cross-dressing. This is a play about cross-dressing, and it’s a great play because the cross-dressing is great. So what else would the mix be about?

The problem YHB is having, though, is that there are lots of songs about men dressed as women, but very few about women dressed as men. That I have found, anyway. Songs about men in drag include

  • “Pretty Lady” Ke$ha
  • “Rebel Rebel” David Bowie
  • “Walk on the Wild Side” Lou Reed
  • “Laid” James
  • “Dude Looks Like a Lady” Aerosmith
  • “Andrew in Drag” Magnetic Fields
  • “Out of the Wardrobe” Kinks

Not a bad start. There are two major kinds of songs here: character sketches and stories about romance in which the woman turns out to be a man in drag.

But songs about women in drag? There are a bunch of Sweet Polly Oliver songs about women dressing in drag to go to war. I don’t think I could comfortably put more than, oh, three of those into an hour-long playlist. And the two kinds of songs about drag queens? They don’t seem to exist about drag kings. Or at least they haven’t come to my attention. I did come across a song by a band called Cowboy Mouth called “Looked Like a Woman (But Dressed Like a Man)” but I haven’t managed to actually listen to it yet. Other than that? Drag kings at war, drag kings at sea. I eagerly await y’all’s counterexamples.

The third kind of cross-dressing song, and one that may actually be the bulk of the playlist, is the song that is associated with one singer, and is covered by a singer of the opposite sex. So I might include this Mônica da Silva cover of “Walk on the Wild Side”. Or the cover by Dave’s True Story, which doesn't seem to be online. Anyway, I’m looking for your favorites of those, too.

In the meantime…

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

6 thoughts on “six of one, none of the other

  1. Chris Cobb

    I can’t think of songs in this category at the moment, but are there show tunes sung by women in drag that would be suitable?

  2. Matt

    What about “Androgynous,” by the Replacements? It might be a cover. Or maybe someone else covered their song, now that my memory processes. I think Crash Test Dummies covered the Replacements song, actually.


  3. Vardibidian

    I have to admit I am not enough of a Replacement fan to know the song–but it turns out there’s a Joan Jett cover! That’s got a place on the list.

    Not sure about show tunes with trouser roles—in fact, I can’t think of any. I would perhaps consider putting Ella Shields singing “Burlington Bertie” if I can get hold of a clean copy, and if it fits musically.

    Also, it isn’t about cross-dressing as such, but a Gentle Reader points out that an AYLI playlist would not be complete without Uncle Bonsai’s anthem Penis Envy.


  4. Jacob

    Hmm. There’s a country song that says “she can wear the pants long as I can take ’em off her”. It’s a stretch, I admit. Also Avril Lavigne has a song with a line about wearing the pants.

    Blondie does a cover of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man”.

    Maybe something from the Broadway musical version of Victor/Victoria?

  5. Chris Cobb

    Upon further reflection about “show tunes in drag,” here’s a suggestion: “Honey Bun” from South Pacific. It’s not a song about cross-dressing, but the performance context is all about cross-dressing . . .

  6. Vardibidian

    “Honey Bun” is an excellent example. I may have to do some searching to find a version of the song I like, though. I’ll also have to listen to the album of Victor/Victoria, which wasn’t really on my wish list. Recs, anyone, for specific tracks from that?



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