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Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage


Peter Allen

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

A common misperception is that Peter wrote this song in memory of his mother-in-law, Judy Garland (he was married to Liza Minnelli). The real story is that during at a cabaret performance of the singer Julie Wilson, Peter sat next to a table of rude patrons who kept talking while Ms. Wilson sang. Peter, who admired Julie, slipped a note to the chattering class, it simply read: "Quiet please, there's a lady on stage." Peter himself acknowledged that it was this incident that inspired this song, and Julie Wilson as the actual muse.

There are two reasons for the common misconception that the song was written as a tribute to Judy Garland:
1) The musical about Allen's life The Boy From Oz employed the song successfully within the context of the musical's story line to pay tribute to the memory of Peter's Mother-in-Law and dear friend Judy Garland. The use of the song was understandable and worked well.

2) It is rumored that Liza was behind the change of original inspiration, she wanted the song to be dedicated to her mother. Yet the lyrics have little to do with Judy's stardom or her eager and enthusiastic audiences. (thanks, Billie - Sydney, Australia)
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Comments (4):

This site is actually wrong on this one. Peter Allen wrote Quiet Please for a TV special on Judy Garland, so it is indeed about her. The Julie Wilson story is correct in that Peter was at a performance of hers and did write a note that read "Quite please there is a lady on stage".. later when he was writing the song for Judy he decided it was a great song title and used it. I think the song is Peter paying homage to a women he loved dearly and all those others out there that didn't quite make it.
- Matt, Brisbane, Australia
On his Carnegie Hall live CD, Peter intros this song as "the only song written for an ex-mother-in-law who's worked here". Judy Garland, no?
- Richard, New York, NY
Peter Allen never performed shows in drag! It's a shame not to many people were aware of who he was. He was the guy whom Hugh Jackman portrayed in THE BOY FROM OZ on Broadway (in the show the song is sung by Peter and company after he tells Liza the news of her mother's tragic death.
It is on an album called Taught By Experts which has not yet been on CD though many of the songs have including the internationl hit I Go to Rio.
- Sara, Silver Spring, MD
I'd heard he wrote this for himself when he did shows in drag. The Judy Garland thing makes sense, too, though.
- Rick, Columbus, GA
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