I Get a Kick Out of You
Originally sung by Ethel Merman, it has been covered by dozens of prominent performers, most famously Frank Sinatra. Performer Gary Shearston revived the song in a pensive pop-rock arrangement, peaking at #7 in the UK charts, 1974.
Alterations to the song
The lyrics were first altered shortly after being written. The last verse originally went as follows:
- I get no kick in a plane
- I shouldn't care for those nights in the air
- That the fair Mrs. Lindbergh goes through
- But I get a kick out of you.
- Flying too high with some guy in the sky
- Is my idea of nothing to do
The original verse goes as follows:
- Some get a kick from cocaine
- I'm sure that if
- I took even one sniff
- That would bore me terrif
- ically, too
- Yet, I get a kick out of you
Porter changed the first line to:
- Some like the perfume in Spain
Sinatra recorded both pre-Code and post-Code versions (with and without the cocaine reference): the first in 1953 and the second in 1962. On a recording live in Paris in 1962, Sinatra sings the altered version with the first line as Some like the perfume from Spain. Other Porter-approved substitutions include "whiff of Guerlain." There is also a version with Some like the bop-type refrain on Sinatra and Swingin' Brass.
References in popular culture
An excerpt from the song was featured in a sketch on The Kids in the Hall, in which a lounge singer performs the song but obliviously mispronounces the lyrics.
The popular children's television show "Sesame Street" once did a parody of this song about the letter U performed by Ethel Mermaid, a fishy spoof of Ethel Merman. In the song, Ethel sings about how none of the other letters in the alphabet give her more joy than the letter U, backed up by a school of fish. A shark gets too close to her while she sings and is continuously smacked away by her tail.
The 1974 film Blazing Saddles features the song (called, "I Get No Kick from Champagne") led by Bart (Cleavon Little) and his fellow railroad workers at the request of Lyle (Burton Gilliam) for a work song, but Lyle interrupts and suggests that "Camptown Races" is a better work song.
- Cole. Robert Kimball, ed. and Brendan Gill. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1973. p. 122.
- Frank Sinatra. The Best of the Capitol Years, Capitol Records, 1992. This compilation has the "cocaine" lyric.