This song has always fascinated me, as it's one of the very first "queer" songs. Now it surely wasn't intended to be that way, but as we look back at it, infusing our own cultural biases into it, well, it's pretty appealing. So I've set up this page to honor it and all the versions of it recorded over the years.
Merritt Brunies and his Friars Inn Orchestra Left to Right: Gordon Pouliot, Bill Paley, Henry Brunies, Maurie Friedman, Merritt Brunies, Bill Creger, Norman Van Hook, Clarence Piper, Rip Logan.
Merritt Brunies led this orchestra at the Friars Inn at 343 S Wabash in Chicago. They got the gig after Merritt's brother George Brunies' band Friar's Society Orchestra vacated the job in 1924. Merrit's band stayed on at the Friar's Inn for three years before leaving for the Cinderella Ballroom. The Brunies' family produced several jazz musicians. Harry Brunies played trombone in the Friars Inn Orchestra and another of the Brunies brothers, Abbie was the leader of the Halfway House Orchestra back home in New Orleans.
Masculine Women, Feminine Men
Note: these are the complete lyrics, from the piano roll version of the song. Not all versions contain all the lyrics.
Hey Hey women are going mad, today
Masculine Women Feminine Men
Women, Feminine Men" has
been recorded by a surprising number of
artists, and was apparently quite popular
in the late 20's. Here are releases I've
found listed on the internet; I have a
few of these in my collection, but would
love to hear more. Click the to hear what I have...
Harris (aka Irving Kaufman), (Columbia 569D, 1/29/26)
Also, an artist named Jon Strongbow recorded a song by that title on his 1989 cassette "A Normal Sort of Guy." It's not the same song, though interesting.
Kaufman (center), who also
Below, Australian pressing, 1926, Bert Firman's Cabaret Novelty Orchestra
True Endeavor Jug Band, 1963
whoever did the 45rpm cover artwork
George Melly, 1984
Below, obscure UK release from around 1990
Below, Ian Whitcomb CD, 1996
Tom Robinson Fan Club only CD, 2000
the Dirdy Birdies Jug Band, 2001. And
their version is also found
Australian Sheet Music
it's interesting that the sheet music below has identical artwork
as the one printed in
Not sure why there were so many versions with different cover photos...
Below, there were even piano rolls of the song.
Below, click images for modern versions, by Richard Halpern & Frederick Hodges
Below, instrumental piano roll version
Below, Marc Almond included the song on his 2008 CD/DVD, with additional lyrics
Below, a delightful 2018 version by Rose Collins