"... just as bold as brass."
I've always admired women described this way. There's a shaming aspect to the phrase that the recipient sloughs off like a coat on a warm day. That woman doesn't really care what others think. She's got her eye on a prize and she's not slowing down.
Determination goes well with brass. When we get down to brass tacks, we're FINALLY dealing with the most important stuff. And it's about time!
Grabbing for the brass ring, on a carousel or in life, is also about going for a prize. And the top brass is a phrase used to describe senior military (or corporate) leaders.
And 1 Corinthians 13:1 tells us, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal." That doesn't sound flattering.
Even Shakespeare isn't too impressed with brass.
"Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?"
In other words, if time can destroy even brass, how can love survive the passage of years?
The Pretenders already answered it, didn't they? It gets back to determination, to having brass in your pocket. Have a listen to Brass in Pocket.
So that's it then. The Pretenders took us all the way back to that bold as brass woman. I still like her. On my best days, I am her.