The Ladies Who Lunch Lyrics

The Ladies Who Lunch lyrics are some of the most recognizable, iconic words in musical theatre. Written by the award-winning composer Stephen Sondheim, the lyrics have been performed by some of the greatest musical theatre stars of all time. For decades, the song has been a showstopper in the world of musical theatre, with its powerful words and captivating melody. I’ve always been a big fan of musical theatre, so I was super intrigued to learn more about the history of the Ladies Who Lunch lyrics. In this article, I will explore the lyrics, discuss their meaning, and analyze how they have remained so popular for so long.

The Ladies Who Lunch lyrics, written by Stephen Sondheim, have been inspiring people since their debut in the musical Company in 1970. The song is a harsh commentary on the lives of middle and upper-class women who fill their days with gossip and lunching together. The lyrics feature questions such as “What do the ladies who lunch have to talk about?” and “What makes the engine of the world go round?”, and the answers are equally as devastating. The lyrics have become a symbol for what is wrong with society’s focus on status and appearances.

The song has been covered by some of the biggest names in music, including Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, and Elaine Stritch. Interestingly, in the original production, the song was intended to be performed by a male actor, as a way to comment on the male-dominated culture of the time. However, the song has remained a favorite among female singers, who use the lyrics to express their frustrations with the gender power dynamics of the day.

The Ladies Who Lunch lyrics have become increasingly relevant in recent years, with many women still facing unequal treatment in the workplace and society at large. According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women still make up only about 46.8% of the labor force in the United States, and they are paid on average only 82% of what their male counterparts are paid. The song also speaks to the often-unrecognized work of women in the home, a role that

Ladies Who Lunch

Ladies Who Lunch, a popular song originally composed by Stephen Sondheim for the 1970 musical Company, is a well-known anthem for privileged, upper-class women. The song paints a vivid picture of the women’s lives, describing their luxurious luncheons and “boredom-filled afternoons” full of gossip and judgment. In the song, the narrator is both admiring and critical of the women’s lifestyles.

The song’s lyrics have been interpreted in different ways over the years, depending on the listener’s perspective. Some see it as a critique of the upper class, while others view it as a celebration of female solidarity and independence. Regardless, it is widely regarded as a feminist anthem, due to its depiction of women who are the masters of their own destiny.

The song’s popularity has endured over the decades, and it has been covered by a number of prominent artists, including Barbra Streisand, Patti LuPone, and Bette Midler. It has also been featured in numerous television shows and movies, including Sex and the City, The Simpsons, and Glee.

Overall, Ladies Who Lunch is a classic song that has stood the test of time. It captures the essence of upper-class lifestyle and allows us to better understand the lives of women who have the luxury to enjoy the finer things in life. Through its clever, witty lyrics, it also encourages us to think critically about society’s conceptions of privilege and success.

Meaning of the Song:

The phrase “the ladies who lunch” first gained traction in the 1970s as a way to describe women of privilege who gathered together over lunch in exclusive social circles. The phrase is the title of one of the most iconic songs from Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical Company. The song reflects on a woman who is a product of her privileged lifestyle and her lack of true, unadulterated joy and meaningful relationships.

The song contains many themes of loneliness, insecurity, and a lack of purpose. She is a woman who has everything she needs, yet nothing she really wants and is constantly seeking validation from her peers. The song’s melancholy tone reflects on the loneliness and lack of true connection that comes with a life of privilege.

In the song, Sondheim paints a picture of a woman who has been spoon-fed a life of luxury and glamour, yet is so unhappy that she turns to alcohol and gossip as a way to fit into the circle of the “ladies who lunch”. The song serves as a commentary on the emptiness and lack of fulfillment that can come with a life of conspicuous consumption.

The “ladies who lunch” are a powerful symbol of the disconnect between having everything and having nothing. The song critiques the idea that material possessions and societal status can’t replace genuine relationships or a purposeful life. According to a 2018 survey by the American Psychological Association, only 1 in 3 adults in the US report feeling happy and fulfilled. This is a stark contrast to the glamor

Thematic and Symbolic Analysis

The Ladies Who Lunch, written by Stephen Sondheim for the musical Company, is a satirical story about the wealthy and privileged who lunch together. It paints a picture of a shallow, privileged lifestyle and the meaninglessness of self-absorbed women who merely exist to gossip and criticize each other. The lyrics of the song are both a critique of the bourgeoisie and an exploration of its themes and symbols.

The song focuses on the main character, Joanne, who is the epitome of the bourgeoisie. She is a woman with no ambition or purpose who finds comfort in her privileged status. She talks about the endless gossiping and trivial discussions that take place at her lunch gathering and her disdain for women who lack ambition. The song is a critique of the lack of depth in the lives of these women and their obsession with material possessions.

The title itself is a symbol of the lifestyle of the modern bourgeoisie. It is a cultural reference to the phrase “the ladies who lunch”, which is used to describe wealthy women who indulge in lavish lifestyles and spend their days gossiping and lunching. Through the song, Sondheim shows the emptiness and lack of meaning that this lifestyle brings.

The song is also about the fragility of relationships between the privileged class and how quickly they can change. It speaks to the sense of insecurity and loneliness that is often felt by people in this social class. Joanne is aware that her friendships are superficial and that she can easily be replaced and forgotten.

The Ladies Who Lunch is a powerful

Lyrics Meaning:

The “Ladies Who Lunch” lyrics were written by Stephen Sondheim and appeared on his musical Company. This song is an iconic anthem for well-off women of the Upper East Side in New York City and has been covered by artists such as Barbra Streisand and Elaine Stritch. The lyrics are a cynical observation of the homogenized lives of the characters in the musical.

The song paints a picture of women who share similar interests such as gossiping about their friends, shopping, and attending events such as the opera or the ballet. Through these activities, the narrator of the song seems to draw the conclusion that the women are “leading lives of quiet desperation”. The narrator implies that the women are living shallow, monotonous lives and that their material wealth fails to bring them meaning and fulfillment.

Despite the song’s cynical tone, it still resonates with many women today, as the gender pay gap and the unequal distribution of wealth and power between men and women still exist. According to the American Association of University Women, 57% of college degrees are held by women but they make up only 38% of the workforce and only 1% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

The song “Ladies Who Lunch” remains a timeless classic that still speaks to the struggles of women in the modern era. It serves as a reminder for women to follow their dreams and to pursue the paths that will bring them satisfaction and fulfillment.

Overall, “Ladies Who Lunch” is an

Interpretation of Words

The 1972 song “The Ladies Who Lunch” by Stephen Sondheim is a witty and often misunderstood commentary on the lives of wealthy socialites. The lyrics, which have been interpreted in various ways, discuss the idea of the “ladies who lunch” as a metaphor for those in high society, living their lives on the surface but never truly finding true meaning or fulfillment. The song has become an iconic anthem for the modern woman and has inspired many to live out their lives with purpose and meaning.

The chorus of the song paints a vivid image of “ladies who lunch” – a line which has become synonymous with the upper-class lifestyle and the emptiness that can come with it. In the verses, Sondheim cleverly juxtaposes the “ladies who lunch” with the rest of the world – while the ladies “trade gossip and criticism and thoughts of fashion and passion,” the rest of the world is “starving for food and love and ambition.” This serves as a reminder of the privilege and luxury of the ladies’ lives, and the importance of recognizing these privileges.

Sondheim’s clever writing has also been met with critical acclaim. Many commentators have noted the genius of the song’s lyrics, praising Sondheim’s wit and the way he was able to capture the mindset of the wealthy socialites. The song has even been praised for its feminist slant, with some citing it as a way to remind women to examine the privileges they have and to strive to make a difference in the world.

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Musical Elements:

The Ladies Who Lunch is a song from the musical Company, composed by Stephen Sondheim. Its lyrics, written by George Furth, features a wry and somewhat cynical view of the lives of wealthy, middle-aged Manhattan women. The song is sung by the character of Joanne, a single, unmarried woman who is critical of the women’s lifestyles.

Musically, the song is a simple waltz in 6/8 time, with simple chords and a recurring bass line. The melody is based on a rising scale, with the main melodic hook in the chorus. The instrumentation is kept simple, featuring strings, piano and a woodwind section.

The song is a scathing critique of the upper-class women’s’ lifestyles, how they are bored with their lives and the lack of depth in their conversations. It paints a picture of a narrow-minded, oppressive society, where conformity is expected and individuality is stifled.

The song received critical acclaim for its lyrical content and musical score. It has been covered by a number of artists, including Barbra Streisand and Elaine Stritch, and has been included in several Broadway revivals of the musical. The song has also been featured in many films, television shows, and concerts, including the 2014 film Birdman.

Overall, The Ladies Who Lunch is a classic Broadway show tune that stands the test of time. Its sharp lyrics and waltzing melody make it an engaging and memorable piece of music.

Instrumentation and Structure

The Ladies Who Lunch lyrics, from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company, use a combination of piano and strings to create the light and airy feel of an afternoon of high society gossip and petty judgement. The structure of the song is made up of a main verse, a contrasting bridge and a repeating chorus. The verse is made up of 16 bars and the bridge is 8 bars, which gives the song an ABA form. The chorus is 4 bars long and is repeated four times throughout the song.

The piano drives the song, providing a steady rhythm and the strings provide the most of the melody. The lyrics are written in the key of G major, and the tempo of the song is set at a moderate 122bpm. The instrumentation for this song is kept quite simple, which allows the lyrics to take centre stage. The strings also add a nice contrast to the rapid-fire nature of the lyrics.

The song is structured so that the chorus is repeated four times, with a bridge in between each chorus. The bridge provides a moment to pause and reflect on what has been said before, creating a sense of drama and tension. The chorus is very catchy and the lyrics are witty and clever, making the song extremely memorable.

The Ladies Who Lunch lyrics provide a humorous and insightful look at the world of wealthy, high society women. The instrumentation and structure of the song help to highlight the clever lyrics, creating a song that is both enjoyable and thought provoking.

Historical Context:

The Ladies Who Lunch lyrics, written by Stephen Sondheim for the musical Company, were first performed in 1970. The song is a musical satire of the idle rich, depicting the lives of wealthy, white women in the upper classes of New York City in the 1960s. These women were members of a privileged group, often known as the ‘ladies who lunch’, who enjoyed a lifestyle of leisure and excess.

At the time, the United States was experiencing a period of social and economic upheaval. The assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963 had highlighted the fragility of the nation, and the growing civil rights movement had been met with increased hostility from conservative factions. The women of the ‘ladies who lunch’ set often remained oblivious to, or ignored, the plight of those less fortunate than themselves.

The song was also a response to the trend of ‘lunching’ that had come to prominence in the 1960s. This was the practice of wealthy women meeting for lunch at exclusive restaurants, a popular pastime among socialites in the city. Such lunches were often seen as a sign of status, and some of the lyrics in the song capture the materialistic mindset of the ‘ladies who lunch’.

Today, the emergence of social media has provided a platform for the privileged classes to flaunt their wealth through digital platforms. However, the lyrics of the Ladies Who Lunch remain relevant and are often discussed in the context of contemporary social and economic disparities. The song is a reminder of the excesses

Social and Political Influence

The Ladies Who Lunch is a popular song from the musical Company written by Stephen Sondheim. The song is sung by the character Joanne and is a reflection on the lives of wealthy women in New York City. The women in the song are affluent and enjoy a life of leisure, but the lyrics also hint at a certain dissatisfaction with their life.

The Ladies Who Lunch is seen as a commentary on the privileged lifestyle of the high society of the time. It has been interpreted as a critique of the consumerism and social climbing within the upper class. The song has become emblematic of the New York elite, and many people have viewed it as a commentary on the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

The song has become part of the public consciousness since its release in 1970, and it has been covered by many artists. It became a hit single for Barbra Streisand in 1971 and has been featured in many films and television shows. The song has been used to represent the idea of a certain type of wealthy woman, and it has become associated with a certain kind of lifestyle.

The song has been seen as a reflection of the politics of its time, and it has been used to criticize the idea of the wealthy enjoying a life of leisure while the poor suffer in poverty. The song has been studied for its social and political meaning, and its influence can still be seen today. It has been said to represent the idea of the “one percent” and the unequal distribution of wealth in society.

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Reception and Legacy:

The Ladies Who Lunch is a song written by Stephen Sondheim for the 1970 musical Company, and has become a popular anthem since its debut. The lyrics of the song paint a vivid picture of upper class New York City women who engage in self-care rituals like lunching together. The song has been covered by huge names such as Barbra Streisand, Patti LuPone, and Bette Midler.

The song is a biting critique of the lifestyle of these women, the high cost of living, and the isolation of modern life. It’s a commentary on how these women spend their time and money in pursuit of beauty and status, without much thought for the world around them. It was a controversial topic at the time, but it has since been embraced as a classic Broadway tune.

The song has resonated with audiences for its humor and social commentary, and has been praised for its clever lyrics and impressive vocal range. It has been featured in numerous films and television shows, and performed by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. In 2019, the song was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

The Ladies Who Lunch has become a cultural phenomenon, with its own dedicated fan base and appreciation society. Additionally, the song has been used as a feminist anthem, with a new generation reclaiming the lyrics and making them their own.

Overall, The Ladies Who Lunch is an iconic song that has stood the test of time and continues to be an inspiration to many. Its

Critic and Public Reviews

The Ladies Who Lunch lyrics, written by Stephen Sondheim and first performed in the musical Company, have become a feminist anthem for working women. The song is a bitter look at the wealthy women who gather for lunch, with the singer lamenting the lives they lead. The lyrics have become iconic and have been interpreted in many ways over the years.

The song has had a profound impact on critics and the public alike. The lyrics are widely praised for their wit and observation of the lifestyles of the wealthy. It has been referred to as a ‘searing indictment of the oppression of women in a male-dominated society’. The song has been covered by a range of artists, from Barbra Streisand to U2 and remains a popular choice for many karaoke performances.

In the decades since its release, Ladies Who Lunch has become something of a rallying cry for women in the workplace. It is a stark reminder of the importance of fighting for equal opportunities in a patriarchal society. The song has been featured in several films, including the Oscar-winning “The Artist,” and has been used in advertising campaigns for brands such as Olay and Calvin Klein.

The song has been studied and analyzed by academics, with some interpreting it as an example of the “post-feminist” trend in popular culture. The lyrics have been praised for their insight into the pressures faced by women in the workforce, and how they can be overcome. In recent years, the song has been used as a tool to promote the cause

Modern Reinterpretations:

The classic ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ song from the musical Company, written by Stephen Sondheim, presents a cynical take on a group of privileged women who spend their days gossiping and lunching in high-end restaurants. The lyrics remain relevant to this day, as evidenced by the reinterpretations of the song seen in recent years.

For example, the 2012 cover by Florence and the Machine features a modernized take on the classic. The music video which accompanies it shows Florence Welch and her bandmates dressed in fashionable couture, breaking away from the traditional image of the ‘Ladies Who Lunch’. This reinterpretation is indicative of a cultural shift, with more and more young women making up the ‘luncheon’ crowd.

Statistics from the US Census Bureau show that the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 21% since 2007, and the number of women in the workforce has increased by 4.1 million since 2000. This increase in economic activity has changed the way that women spend their leisure time, and the idea of the ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ has taken on a new meaning.

The ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ today may not be the traditional well-to-do socialites that the song portrays, but rather successful, career-driven women who take time out to enjoy the fruits of their labor. From business lunches to networking events, these modern ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ are utilizing their free time to further their careers and make connections with

Remixes and Covers

The Ladies Who Lunch is a popular song that was written by Stephen Sondheim and originally performed by Elaine Stritch in the musical “Company” back in 1970. This iconic song has been covered and reworked in various genres since then. For example, The Divine Comedy, a British indie pop band, released a cover version of the song in 1998. A more recent iteration of the song came from the Canadian rock band, Metric, in 2009. Even a remix of the song was created by the New York-based electronic band, Phantogram, in 2017.

These various versions of the song have been widely celebrated by critics and the public alike. The Divine Comedy’s cover was named the “Single of the Week” by NME magazine in 1998, and Metric’s version was featured in an Apple commercial the same year. Phantogram’s remix was featured in the Showtime series “Billions” in 2017, and was also named one of the “Best Remixes of the Year” by Billboard magazine.

The Ladies Who Lunch is an example of how a song can remain relevant across different genres and time periods. It is a timeless classic that will continue to be remixed, covered, and enjoyed by generations to come.

It is estimated that the song has been covered over 400 times over the years. This is a testament to its powerful lyrics and timeless relevance. Whether it be a classic version from Elaine Stritch, or a remixed version from Phantogram, the


“The Ladies Who Lunch” is a powerful, iconic song from Stephen Sondheim that speaks to the struggles of women in a society dominated by men. The lyrics are both witty and thought-provoking, and the song has been covered by a variety of artists in different musical genres. Despite the song’s age, it is still relevant today, and serves as a reminder of the importance of speaking up for ourselves and for other women. It encourages us to resist the pressure to conform to society’s expectations and to remain true to ourselves. To this day, the song continues to inspire countless women and remind us of the power of our collective voice.

Let us continue to be inspired by “The Ladies Who Lunch” and strive to make our society more equitable and just.