The song which is played while the debutantes perform their “fan dance” – not the burlesque entertainment the name leads you to believe, but a rather tame affair holding small white fans over their heads. Luckily for Rory, little actual dancing ability seems to be required for it.
Thanks Heaven for Little Girls is a 1957 song written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, performed by Maurice Chevalier in the 1958 musical comedy, Gigi, based on the novelette by French author Colette. The film is about a sixteen-year-old girl being trained to be a courtesan in 19th century Paris, who winds up becoming a wife rather than a mistress.
The lyrics describe the pleasure men derive from little girls of “five or six or seven”, knowing that in a decade or so, they will have developed into bigger girls, who “grow up in the most delightful way”.
As a song about the joys of girls developing into nubile young women so you can marry them, it’s on theme for a debutante ball, but also wildly and hilariously inappropriate. The show does seem to agree with Lorelai (big surprise!) that there’s something pretty creepy about coming out parties and debutante balls.