♫ Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves ♫

I did not play a song on Sunday night/Monday morning, for by the time I finished my Jolly Monday post, responding to comments, catching up email, I was exhausted and struggling for breath due to the humidity, so I went to bed instead.  I hang my head in shame as I realized that it was singer Cher’s 73rd birthday … an occasion that deserved at least a bit of a tribute.  However, I will not kick myself over it, for I am only human with the limitations of an almost-68-year-old woman, and … I can make up for my lapse tonight!

Now, my inclination was to play the Sonny & Cher song, I Got You Babe, or The Beat Goes On.  But, I had already played the first some time ago, and as I thought more about it … well, it was Cher’s birthday, not Sonny’s.  So, to honour Cher, I picked my favourite, Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves.

According to SongFacts …

This was Cher’s first #1 solo hit, and part of a big comeback. 1967 was the last time she had a hit either on her own or with Sonny & Cher. She released a financially disastrous movie in 1969 called Chastity, and that same year released an album that tanked. That year she and Sonny revived their nightclub act, which Cher credits with improving her vocal skills. In 1971 the couple got a deal for their own variety show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, and Cher got a record deal. The show launched in August and was a ratings success; “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” came out in September, and in early November, it became the #1 song in America for two weeks. The show stayed on the air until 1974, and Cher charted six more times in the ’70s before a career lull that set the stage for an even more remarkable comeback in the late ’80s.

This was written by a music producer named Bob Stone, who also wrote Dottie West’s 1981 country hit “Are You Happy Baby?” Cher’s producer was Snuff Garrett, who was known for hiring Phil Spector to work at Liberty Records. Garrett was looking for a song that would accentuate Cher’s husky voice and exotic image, and Stone delivered it. The song was originally titled “Gypsies and White Trash,” but Garrett had Stone revise it to make the title less offensive.

I like this song, more for the beat and the tune than for the lyrics.

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
Cher

I was born in the wagon of a travellin’ show
My mama used to dance for the money they’d throw
Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Picked up a boy just south of mobile
Gave him a ride, filled him with a hot meal
I was sixteen, he was twenty-one
Rode with us to Memphis
And papa woulda shot him if he knew what he’d done

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

I never had schoolin’ but he taught me well
With his smooth southern style
Three months later I’m a gal in trouble
And I haven’t seen him for a while, uh-huh
I haven’t seen him for a while, uh-huh

She was born in the wagon of a travellin’ show
Her mama had to dance for the money they’d throw
Grandpa’d do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
We’d hear it from the people of the town
They’d call us gypsy’s, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Songwriters: Bob Stone
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

19 thoughts on “♫ Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves ♫

  1. Jill, this song was well suited to her style, voice anc dark hair look. She had a number of hits, post-Sonny. Then, she took a hiatus to become a movie star, then had a third musical hit period. She is deserving of the Kennedy Center Honor she received. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite so … I had forgotten how great her voice is until I listened to this last night, and then a little while ago when I listened to “I Got You Babe” that a reader had posted in a comment. I’m gonna have to do some more of their music!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Everybody is on a Cher kick lately, from the lady cutting my partner’s hair this week who saw her live at the beginning of the month and says she’s still great, to the oldies radio station I listen to lately (dustydiscsradio.com, a Canadian 60s, 70s, 80s), to you! This song did have some socially aware if not enlightened lyrics, and i certainly remember it when it was big.

    I recently also heard the one about the card reader who was sleeping with the woman’s spouse and came to a bad end–“blah lady laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one”–maybe it was called Dark Lady or something like that. At the time I found it pretty much cruel-but-fair–

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s a cliché, but They don’t make ’em like this anymore. Listening to this made me want to listen again to the great Sonny & Cher song which was your first “inclination,” so I took the liberty of bringing up this link (hope you don’t mind):

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is cliche, but I say it all the time. I don’t even listen to today’s music, for it holds no appeal to me. Thanks for the link … I don’t mind at all, in fact I appreciate it! I try not to play a song a second time within, say, six months, but there are exceptions, notably John Lennon’s “Imagine”, and McCarney/Wonder’s “Ebony & Ivory”, for I think they carry important messages and have played both a few times. “I Got You Babe” is always the first song that comes to mind when I think of Sonny & Cher!

      Like

  4. this song brings back memories from when I was a kid. I vaguely remember the variety show but we had this song on eight-track along with other classic albums that would ultimately become favorites of mine like Dark side of the moon by Pink Floyd and Mad Man Across the Water by Elton John which is my favorite album by him.

    and cher

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! You remember 8-tracks? I thought that was likely before your time! I’m not a Pink Floyd fan, but as you already know, I love Elton! I’m glad the song brought back memories … hopefully fond ones.

      Like

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