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Henry's Made a Lady out of Lizzie, By Walter O'Keefe
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection

In 1927, after selling over 15 million Ford Model T's, the Henry Ford Motor Company replaced the Model T with the Model A. This song, "Henry's Made a Lady Out of Lizzie" is about the new Model A. Its lyrics make the Model A into a female, and make much of the car's attractiveness: "Have you seen her, ain't she great? she's something you'll appreciate." The song also sexualised the car: "She's like all the other vamps, pretty shape and lovely lamps, Henry's made a lady out of Lizzie!" The song made fun of the rough ride of the Model T, and the bruises you'd get from driving one, then went on to favorably compare the Model A's features to the old Ford standard.

Physical Description
sheetmusic. Cover shows man and a woman in a convertible Ford, with a license plate 1928-A. The woman is dressed very stylishly. The male driver has a cartoonish grin on his face. "De Sylva, Brown and Henderson, Inc. Music Publishers, De Sylva, Brown and Henderson Building. 745 Seventh Avenue, New York. Made in U.S.A."
Date Made:
Michigan, New York
NMAH, Archives Center

Transportation is such a part of people's daily lives that music reflects the changing transportation scene. Popular music began to incorporate storylines and imagery related to the automobile in the early 20th century. Many of the songs with lyrics make much of the freedom that the automobile could bring to courting couples. Some concentrated their attention on the potential for mechanical breakdowns. Other sheet music used automobile-related imagery on the copies sold to the public, even though the song inside the sheet music didn't have anything to do with automobiles.

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