♫ Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves ♫ (Redux)

I played this song one year ago yesterday, as a tribute to Cher on her then-73rd birthday, so it seemed a sound idea to play it again this year, though I’m a day late.  Oh wait, I was a day late last year, so I must be two days late this year!  Hmmmm … anybody see a pattern here?  Actually, it was quite by accident that I am playing it tonight.  I was going through my file of songs people have mentioned that they would like to hear, and I noticed that some time ago, Scottie had requested Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves.  That’s when I discovered I had played it last year, and why.  So, once again, I give you … Cher!


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

14 thoughts on “♫ Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves ♫ (Redux)

  1. One of the “darlings of early rock,” Cher went on to wow generation after generation with her voice and her talent. She was a child of the 60s, but a woman of the universe. Thanks, Cher, for singing to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, this is great storytelling song. I have never heard Cher’s described as husky, but that is a good term. The Sonny and Cher show was actually quite good. Teri Garr added a lot to it.

    It is funny, when Cher made her singing comeback, the younger folks said who knew Cher the actress could sing. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I never saw their show, or if I did, I’ve long since forgotten, but then I’ve never been much of a television-watcher. That is funny, that the young folks thought she was an actress first! This one is now stuck in my head, commingling with “Mr. Bojangles” from yesterday! What a strange coupling!

      Like

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