"The Lady Is a Tramp" is a show tune from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes In Arms in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. This song is a spoof of New York high society and its strict etiquette (the first line of the verse is significant: "I get too hungry for dinner at eight...").
In 2011, Lady Gaga was featured on a cover of the song with Tony Bennett, which appeared on Bennett's album, Duets II. The song was released as a single on October 3, 2011.
Their cover of "The Lady is a Tramp" was the last song recorded for the album, coming after lengthy contractual wrangling and only a few days before the cutoff date for the album’s completion.
The recording took place at Studio 1 of Avatar Studios on July 31 in New York. They had two hours with Gaga and in that time period, they did six takes. The New Yorker who was on location reported that Gaga was so nervous, she downed whiskey throughout the day. "Did all the girls used to have to get drunk to hang out with you?" Gaga asked Tony Bennett. "You're such a dreamboat!" A TV crew was also on location to shoot the music video for the song.
The video shows Bennett and Gaga singing "The Lady Is a Tramp" together in a studio in front of music stands. Both wear black tie attire, with Bennett sporting a suit and Gaga donning an evening dress made up by black-colored semi-transparent lace. Despite their black clothes, each artist contrasts these with some color, as Bennett rests a red handkerchief in his breast pocket while Gaga wears a turquoise bob wig. In the beginning of the video and during occasional other scenes, Gaga holds a whiskey glass. The mood of the video is light and cheerful, as both singers smile constantly and use hand gestures and swing their arms to express happiness.
Like the lyrical content, the video features a back-and-forth style, showing the two singers back and forth while their lines switch. Adding to the animation, the two make gesture and point to each other during their lines. Additional animations include Gaga pulling Bennett's red handkerchief out of his pocket in the middle of the video, holding up the tail of her dress on multiple occasions, and moving to Bennett's microphone during her "I'm so broke" line as well as for the concluding line of "that's why this lady is a tramp." Bennett meanwhile makes his own gestures, including a-ok during his line of "Jeter's just fine." At the end of the video, Gaga kisses Bennett on the cheek and he thanks her.
- On set photography by Kelsey Bennett.
- Album and Single artworks
|Band recording||Dae Bennett at Bennett Studios in July of 2011 (Englewood, NJ )|
|Arrangement, conductor||Marion Evans|
|Alto saxophone||Lawrence Feldman and Dave Mann|
|Tenor saxophone||Andy Snitzer and Mark Phaneuf|
|Baritone saxophone||Ron Janelli|
|Trumpets||Tony Kadleck, Bob Millikan, John Owens and Budd Burridge|
|Tenor trombone||Mike Davis, Larry Farrell and Keith O'Quinn|
|Bass trombone||George Flynn|
|Vocals recording||Studio 1 at Avatar Studios on July 31 and September of 2011 (New York )|
|Producers||Phil Ramone with Dae Bennett|
|Assistants engineer||Fernando Lodeiro and Tim Marchiafava|
|Mixing and editing||Dae Bennett at Bennett Studios (Englewood, NJ )|
|Mastering||Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering (Portland, ME )|
- Director — Unjoo Moon