I first encountered this woman when asked to play saxophone for an hour in front of Simoni's up on Nassau Street, which was having a benefit for Operanauts.
I sat right beside her, played everything I could think of, but couldn't get her to look my way. Talk about nonchalant. She had this distant look, as if remembering a love she lost long ago.
No, not that lush over near Memorial Hall whom she had a fling with. Such joie de vivre, and that seductive French accent, but she finally realized she couldn't compete with the bottle.
And then there was the businessman--stable but much too serious. Deep down, he just wanted to read the paper.
Maybe she fell hard for that brainy guy, the dreamer, who spoke of kindness, beauty and truth. He talked a good game of unification, but in the end, everything was relative. Funny how he aged while the years have left her untouched.
Sophisticated lady, don't live in the past. Don't give up. There's a whole world out there.
School teachers take note: Interesting quote on Wikipedia about Ellington's original conception for his composition "Sophisticated Lady" (someone else wrote the lyrics): "That original conception was inspired by three of Ellington's grade school teachers. "They taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication.'"
For a rendition by Harry Carney and the Duke, including some circular breathing at the end that might get her to turn her head, here's a video link.