Always True to You in My Fashion

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"Always True to You in My Fashion" is a 1948 show tune by Cole Porter, written for the musical Kiss Me, Kate.[1] It is based on Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae, a similarly ironic poem by the English Decadent poet Ernest Dowson (1867–1900), which has the refrain 'I have been faithful to thee, Cynara, in my fashion,' and which was probably inspired by Dowson's lifelong friend Adelaide Foltinowicz, who never returned his devotion.[2] The phrase "faithful in my fashion" entered the language before the song was written, and was the title of a 1946 Hollywood film.

In the song's lyrics, the singer protests that she is always faithful to her main love in her own way, despite seeing, and accepting gifts from, wealthy men. The implication of some of the lyrics is that she trades romantic favors for the gifts. The song is sung in the later part of the show by Lois (Bianca) to her love interest, Bill (Lucentio), who has become frustrated with Lois' penchant for older wealthy men. Broadway actress and singer Lisa Kirk, who originated the role of Lois/Bianca, introduced the song in the second act of the original (1948) production.[1]

The song is full of wordplay, such as the spoonerism "If the Harris pat means a Paris Hat...".

Other versions[edit]

The song was notably sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Blossom Dearie, and Peggy Lee (with George Shearing). There is also a version on the "Della Della Cha-Cha-Cha" album in 1961 by Della Reese. Julie London in 1961 (on the LP album (Liberty Records LST-7192) Whatever Julie Wants)

Cultural references[edit]

Porter wondered whether Clark Gable would object to his name being used in the song, in which it is implied that Gable is one of Lois's lovers ("Mister Gable, I mean Clark / Wants me on his boat to park"). Gable was delighted upon hearing the song, along with his name's being mentioned in the lyric.

In some versions of the lyrics, there are references to the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston and Mack the Knife from the Threepenny Opera.

In an apparent allusion to Porter's song, Morrissey's "Speedway", from the 1994 album Vauxhall & I, includes the lines "In my own strange way, I've always been true to you / In my own sick way, I'll always stay true to you".



  • Green, Stanley. Broadway Musicals, Show by Show. Milwaukee, WI: H. Leonard Books, 1985.
  • Willis, John; Ben Hodges, and Tom Lynch. Theatre World 1999-2000 Season. Volume 56. New York: Applause, 2003.