There was a time a tattooed lady was an oddity rarely seen outside the carnival sideshow. Nowadays, many women sport tattoos, from the sensible looking businesswoman with a tiny bird or flower on her wrist to the more daring art babe with arms and hips and cleavage splashed with color. Still, it's rare to see the full-on, head-to-toe skin illustrations that decorated Lydia the Tattooed Lady. The great Groucho Marx sings her praises in the 1939 comedy, "At the Circus."
It may have been Groucho's theme song, but it was actually written by Harold Arlen (formerly Hyman Arluk) and Yip Harburg. This writing team was versatile. The year before penning "Lydia," they wrote "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for The Wizard of Oz.