Marilyn Monroe Sings! (English Cafe 120)

In today’s English Cafe 120, Jeff talks about the dumb blond stereotype. When Americans think of dumb blonds, the classic example is Marilyn Monroe, or at least the characters she played in films. Here she is singing a song from the classic movie Gentlemen Prefer Blonds (1953).

~ Lucy

Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
The French are glad to die for love
They delight in fighting duels (fight for honor between two people)
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewelsA kiss on the hand may be quite Continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
A kiss may be grand (great)
But it won’t pay the rental (rent; money you pay each month for the place you live)
On your humble (modest) flat (British term for “apartment”)
Or help you at the automat (laundromat; where you pay to wash your own clothes)

Men grow cold
As girls grow old
And we all lose our charms (attractiveness) in the end
But square-cut or pear-shaped
These rocks don’t lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Tiffany’s. . . Cartier. . .
Black frost. . .
Pearl ‘bossed. . .
Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it!

There may come a time when a lass (girl) needs a lawyer
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
There may come a time when a hard-boiled (difficult; strict) employer
Thinks you’re awful nice
But get that ice (slang meaning diamonds)
Or else no dice (not okay; cannot proceed)

He’s your guy when stocks are high
But beware when they start to descend (to come down; decline)
Cos (because) that’s when those louses (bad people)
Go back to their spouses (husbands or wives)
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

I’ve heard of affairs which are strictly Platonic (friendship without sex)
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
And I think affairs that you
Must keep Masonic (with strength; solid)
Are better bets
If little pets get big baguettes (a shape of diamonds)

Time rolls on (continues), and youth is gone
And you can’t straighten up when you bend
But stiff (not easy to move) back, or stiff knees
You stand straight at Tiffany’s

Diamonds, diamonds. . .
I don’t mean rhinestones (inexpensive stones that look like diamonds)
Diamonds. . .
Are a girl’s best. . . best friend

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15 Responses to Marilyn Monroe Sings! (English Cafe 120)

  1. She sauntered through life as the most delectable sex symbol of the century and became its most enduring pop confection.

  2. Joselin says:

    There is a famous quote from Marilyn after their nude appearance in the first edition of Playboy. A journalist asked her what she wore in bed and she replied “Channel Nº 5”. Then, when asked what she had on during the photo session she replied. “It’s not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on”.

  3. emiliano says:

    I love Marilyn for ever.
    I have seen all her pictures several times and never get tired of looking to her.
    I think she is unique in their role of blonde stereotype and did a fantastique and insuperable work in all her films.
    I get always fascinated looking her face, the way she moves when walking, and also her worm voice singing.
    I love her despite she is not my type of women, but she is and always will be unique.
    I was very sad first time I listened that she dead.
    I was very young them but my feelings to her never changed.
    I think she was really very inteligent to make such good roles and to work with so good directors.

  4. robert(o) says:

    Great Idea, Songs and Lyrics. I´d recommend the Band “TOOL” for the next time, 😉 contemporary 😉 English for ESL-Students,

  5. Juan Carlos says:

    I always thought she was a dumb blond, as you said, that´s a stereotype. But I never imagine she could sing and as I see she was talented. I´m just 26 and I don´t know when she died, maybe before I was born. I only knew about her looks, that she was pretty and the fan with her skirt flying, only in pictures. It was nice to know more about this character.

  6. emiliano says:

    Talking a little more about Marilyn I remember her work in “The Prince and the Showgirl” with Laurence Olivier, one of the best english actors of that times.
    She was also directed by him, and Marilyd did so good role that L.Olivier was nearly eclipsed by her. Same happend with Ives Montand in “Lets make love”
    by George Cukor. She was great in that film but Ives Montand was so dull. The film was saved by her indudable despite so good director as G.Cukor.
    I could mentioned other films where she was really great: Niagara doing of “fatal woman” accosed by a jelous husband. This was quite different role of some other
    she was always requested to do by the Industry and her public.
    Her last film was “The Misfist” (1961) directed by John Huston, with Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Thelma Ritter……, all of them great actors.
    She did a different work also, and a few time later the three of them was dead. (C.Gable, M. Clift and M. Monroe) what a pitty.
    But they are fix in memory always like we saw them at that film, so young yet and with good health.
    To people that do not know M.Monroe and their films I recomend them eagerly as all of them are very amusing and time doesn’t pass on over this pictures.

  7. Henry L. says:

    I am really like this idea of Video and lyric on it. It helps me to improve my English as well.

    I hope you guys would issue this idea very often.

    Best ever regards!

    Henry L.

    Edgewater, NJ

  8. Coralia says:

    Jeff and Lucy,
    Thank you so much for the video, the lyric, and the most important the explanation of the new words, those help me a lot to understand the song. By the way, Marilyn is immortal, isn’t it? when I saw her video I saw a blond with ‘feminine power’ in all her authentic woman nature… but under what circumstances did she die? I think you should try to talk about these mysterious deaths with other famous persons, including MM.

    From New Hampshire…

    Coralia (Peruvian)

  9. Grzegorz says:

    In Poland there is very popular or maybe I should say populistic party, witch wear similiar ties :-)))

  10. Graham says:

    Masonic? I agree it’s dificult to hear, but Jule Styne’s lyric was liaisonic, a made up word.

  11. Cathy says:

    You’re right Graham. It is liaisonic. A derivative of liaison, meaning of course: 1. A close relationship, connection, or link. 2. An adulterous relationship; an affair. (Which fits the meaning of the song much more appropriately than ‘masonic’) The -ic was added so that it would easily rhyme with ‘platonic.’

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  15. mnorgovudkka says:

    Hy my name is mnorgovudkka
    Im from mongolia

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