Who was Isadora, "The first bra burner?"

The theme song to the 1970’s sitcom Maude, starring Bea Arthur, begins as follows:

Lady Godiva was a freedom rider, she didn’t care if the whole world looked
Joan of Arc, with the Lord to guide her, she was a sister that really cooked
Isadora was the first bra burner, ain’t you glad she showed up?
And when the country was falling apart, Betsy Ross got it all sewed up
And then there’s Maude…

Now, I know who Lady Godiva (famous for riding a horse naked), Joan of Arc (famous for being a young woman who fought for her country), Betsy Ross (famous for supposedly making the firest United States flag), and Maude (famous for being Bea Arthur in real life) are, but who is the Isadora mentioned in the song? I imagine, based on the way she is described in the song, she could be comparable to the women’s libbers of the 1960s and 1970s.

BTW, the title for this thread should be, Who was Isadora, “The first bra burner?”

[note: I fixed the thread title. Vbulletin hates quote marks in the thread title if you preview. Go figure. -manhattan]

[Edited by manhattan on 02-16-2001 at 11:43 PM]

Probably Isadora Duncan (1878-1927). Duncan was a dancer who helped create modern dance. She was also renowned for her flamboyant lifestyle.

I had asked the same question awhile back. I think this link will work

Hopefully it does

Sidenote: from what I’ve heard, Lady Godiva was a Saxon wife of a Norman lord. The lord was taxing his people too heavily and Lady G. pleaded with him to reduce the taxes. He said “I’ll do it if you ride through town naked” (also, I think no one could look) So she did it.

I hope this isn’t too off-topic.

Incidental to the incidental, the phrase “peeping tom” is connected to the Godiva legend. According to the lore, the people of the town were instructed to keep their eyes closed while Godiva rode through town. The tailor, Tom, opened his eyes to get a good look at the naked Diva, and was struck blind. Since then, “peeping tom” has been used to refer to someone who looked at things he wasn’t supposed to see.

no offense jayjay, but that sounds like a common urban (feudal?) legend. Do you have a cite for it?

walrus jayjay phrased the info correctly, i.e. connected to the Godiva legend, according to the lore,etc.

The Peeping Tom connection to the legend goes back to the late 18th Century according to most sources.

This page which I found(sorry for it being a cache , the original page wasn’t around) , treats both the original origin of the ride and the later association of a peepeing tom somewhat scholarly. I don’t vouch for anything. Just adding some thoughts.

Alright, now for the serious try at answering the OP and later questions.

My immediate reaction was *Isadora Duncan died before bra-wearing was even that common.

from Austin Chronicle article is perhaps just legend. I don’t know.

Certainly, Isadora Duncan was dancing without a bra before the bra as we know it was commonly available to most women.

Alan Q posted in the previous Isadora thread,

I always thought her final words were more along the line of aacckkkk! . :smiley:

As Samclem pointed out, I did make note that it was said to be connected to the Godiva legend. I wasn’t saying that I believe that there actually was a tailor named Tom who looked at a naked Godiva and went blind.