Cole Porter wrote the song for the play,"The New Yorkers", in 1938. The title was "Love for Sale." Obviously, the song was about prostitution.Not surprisingly, there were some problems.
The song was quickly banned from radio.
in the first weeks of the Broadway show, was white, and in the background was a popular New York restaurant, "Ruebens", apparently frequented by Caucasians.In response to criticism, The song was re- assigned to an African American, and the background was Harlem.[
an attempt to imply that prostitution was an activity of African Americans in Black neighborhoods.]
With all due respect to Cole Porter, he was bravely trying to portray some real life.
Controversy often gets attention. "Love for Sale" was recorded
by a long list of popular entertainers.
In the video, you hear Ella Fitsgerald. She sings it with feeling.The ultimate professional, she has no problem with the lyrics.
Again, with respect to Cole Porter,I have fudged his lyrics quite a bit to
try to clarify what it is that is for sale.
It is not love. It is not "sex", which is a biological term.
It is, "Playtime", which is for sale.
Play for Sale
Every day I open shop.
I make sure my add is near the top.
When the phone begins to ringing,
I know that I 'll soon be working.
Playtime will be for sale;
Who will buy?
Who would like to give me try?
Who's pepared to pay the price?
For a trip to paradise?
Let the poet write
about the "love" that fail.
But remember, its the "playtime" that's for sale.
I know what is love and what is
Because, this job show me, every day.
If you want to buy my wares, follow me, come down the stairs.