Where her fair breasts at liberty were let,
Whose violet veins in branched riverets flow,
And Venus’ swans and milky doves were set
Upon those swelling mounts of driven snow;
(Excerpt from ‘Mortimer and Queen Isabella at Nottingham castle’ by Michael Drayton 1563 -1631)
‘Her breasts were naked for the day was hot’
(Excerpt from ‘Armida entertains Rinaldo’ by Edward Fairfax d 1635)
In the previous post about Tudor boobs I had wanted to include a photograph I had seen of a short-lived fashion trend from London in the 1960’s. I clearly remember having seen a woman photographed in the street wearing a dress which exposed her breasts. Sadly, I couldn’t find it – as you can imagine, a Google search for ‘woman’ and ‘breasts exposed’ manages plenty of hits! ( 9,610,000 last count) – unfortunately it wasn’t a very good way of researching my blog post.
I still keep noticing good examples of this trend for breast exposure in the Tudor period – I found this example (below) the other day in the Roxburghe ballads accompanied by ‘Celia’
Come, my CELIA, let us prove,
While we may, the sports of love ;
Time will not be ours for ever :
He at length our good will sever.
Spend not then his gifts in vain.
Suns that set, may rise again:
But if once we lose this light,
‘Tis with us perpetual night.
Why should we defer our joys ?
Fame and rumor are but toys.
Cannot we delude the eyes
Of a few poor household spies ;
Or his easier ears beguile,
So removed by our wile ?
‘Tis no sin love’s fruit to steal,
But the sweet theft to reveal :
To be taken, to be seen,
These have crimes accounted been.
A mystery solved!
As mentioned at the top of the post I was no closer to finding out who it was in the original 1960’s photo until I happened to chance across it in an unexpected place.
I was lucky enough to have seen the Clash when they came to The Top Rank Suite in Dale End, Birmingham (about 1978 I think)I have been a fan ever since. The first Clash album is one of my favourites and I especially like the song ‘Janie Jones’ which is one of the best songs on it.
I have always played the guitar – excruciatingly badly I admit – but it keeps me happy. I was trying to play ‘Janie Jones’ and decided to look up the chords on-line , I also wondered why the song was called Janie Jones and looked that up too.
I came across this website telling the story of Janie Jones, who was a London Madam, pop star and friend to the Clash. Check out her 1965 single ‘Witches brew’ and notice the picture that is 8 seconds in.
Mystery solved! – this is the photo of Janie taken as she attended the 1964 premiere of the film ‘London in the raw’ – this is the image I recall seeing on TV sometime in the past.
So – for the first ( & possibly last) time ever I have an excuse to put a Clash video on a blog about the Tudors! This is a video from 1977 – around the time that I saw them, what a great band and what a great front man Joe Strummer was -
He’s in love with rocknroll woaahh
Hes in love with gettin stoned woaahh
Hes in love with janie jones
But he dont like his boring job, no…
An he knows what hes got to do
So he knows hes gonna have fun with you
You lucky lady!
An he knows when the evening comes
When his job is done hell be over in his car for you
An in the in-tray lots of work
But the boss at the firm always thinks he shirks
But hes just like everyone, hes got a ford cortina
That just wont run without fuel
Fill her up, jacko!
An the invoice it dont quite fit,
Theres no payola in his alphabetical file
This time hes gonna really tell the boss
Gonna really let him know exactly how he feels
Its pretty bad!