more grammar less fustian

I have some more songs to talk about (see yesterday's blog).  Neil Diamond wrote terrific songs and I actually love his oh-so-deliberate grammatical mistake in one: "Songs I sang to you/Songs I brang to  you."  I love it!  I have heard singers correcting the verb from brang to brought, but of course that doesn't rhyme.  In this case I think the editor is wrong. 

My next song is not wrong but its rendition reveals not only the fussiness on the part of the performer but also the complete misunderstanding of the composer's intention.  In this case, the composer is also the lyricist, the great, witty, urbane, brilliant Cole Porter. His song "The Lady is a Tramp" is ironic.  The lady (in "Pal Joey") sings about her behaviour that causes others to label her a tramp.  In fact, her "sins" indicate what a genuine person she is. Here are a couple of examples:  

"Don't go to Harlem in ermine and pearls" - that is, she doesn't try to show off.  

"Don't dish the gab with the rest of the girls" - that is, she's not a gossip.

I heard a version of this song performed by Frank Sinatra who changed the title to "The Lady is a Champ"  He or the "translator" didn't trust the audience to get the point., so they spelled it out.

I do think editors have to be very careful.