Skip to main content

The Bag Ladies' Ball

If I had a million dollars
If I were and entrepeneur
I would rent the Plaza Hotel for a day
Rent an Englishman for the door

I'd send out embossed invitations
Announcing: Come one, Come all
To the social event of the season
The Annual bag ladies ball

From the streets of Greenwich Village
From the benches on Tenth Avenue
From the tenements of Harlem
Would come bag ladies two by two
Dragging their treasures behind them
Humming some faraway song
It's a sight New Yorkers will never forget
Bag ladies marching along

Now they'll each get a suite for the evening
With a bath and a telephone
They'll dine in the elegant Oak Room
With their bag lady friends, not alone

They'll sip Champagne in the Palm Court
Stroll down the carpeted halls
Now excitement is mounting for everyone
At the annual bag ladies ball

Precisely at 10 the music begins
Bag ladies crowd the dance floor
There's waltzs and foxtrots and tangos and two steps
And sambas, merenges and more

They exchange the politest of pleasantries
As they gracefully sway to the tunes
When the band takes a break, they're served Ice cream and cake
And are all given silver balloons

Oh, but the evening ends all too quickly
For these old women of the streets
They repair to their clean white feather beds
In their elegant private suites

Then it's room service in the morning
Coffee and croissant for all
Then it's back to the life they're so used to
'Till next years bag ladies ball.
Words BY Christine Lavin/Flip-A-Jig
Music ASCAP & Happy Valley Music BMI
Copyright 1986, Palindrome Records, Philo