I Wanna Be Loved by You

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"I Wanna Be Loved by You"
Song by Helen Kane
ReleasedDecember 1928
RecordedSeptember 5, 1928
Songwriter(s)Herbert Stothart, Harry Ruby, Bert Kalmar

"I Wanna Be Loved by You" is a song written by Herbert Stothart and Harry Ruby, with lyrics by Bert Kalmar, for the 1928 musical Good Boy.[1] It was first performed on September 5, 1928 by Helen Kane,[2] who was the inspiration for the cartoon character Betty Boop. "I Wanna Be Loved by You" was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century in a survey by the RIAA to which 200 people responded (out of 1300 asked). One of Marilyn Monroe's most famous musical performances is her singing the song in Billy Wilder's classic 1959 farce Some Like It Hot.

The original lyrics and music of the song entered the public domain in the United States in 2024.[3]


The song was first performed in 1928 by Helen Kane, who became known as the 'Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl' because of her baby-talk, scat-singing tag line to the song. This version was recorded when Kane's popularity started to reach its peak, and became her signature song. Two years later, a cartoon character named Betty Boop was modeled after Kane. Desirée Goyette performs the number as Betty Boop in the 1980s animated film The Romance of Betty Boop.

In 1950, the song was a highlight of the Kalmer-Ruby biopic Three Little Words, performed by Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter as Helen Kane and vaudeville performer Dan Healy. Helen Kane dubbed the vocal for Reynolds’ voice.

In popular culture[edit]

In Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955) this song is performed by Jane Russell, Jeanne Crain (dubbed by Anita Ellis) and Rudy Vallee.

In a The Wednesday Play episode ("Up the Junction", November 3, 1965, directed by Ken Loach), Carol White as Sylvie sings the song in a pub.

In a Gilligan's Island episode, Ginger Grant sings the song on at least one occasion for the entertainment of the fellow castaways. Her performance so impresses Mary Ann Summers that she takes on Ginger's personality and identity after hitting her head. However, when Mary Ann tries to sing the song, her lack of talent makes her uncomfortable and she faints, snapping out of her amnesia.

In an episode of The Brady Bunch ("Never Too Old,” October 5, 1973), Bobby (Mike Lookinland) must quarantine from the family after his first kiss from Millicent (Melissa Sue Anderson) could potentially produce the mumps. Meanwhile, Mike (Robert Reed), in his den with Carol (Florence Henderson), pulls out his ukulele as Carol leads them in a duet of their own rendition. Alice (Ann B. Davis) pokes her head in, duster brandishing on cue with her closing "Boop-Boop-Be-Doop."

In an episode of The Golden Girls, ("Journey to the Center of Attention," February 22, 1992), Blanche butchers the song at The Rusty Anchor.

In an episode of Family Matters (Le Jour d'amour, aired on February 14, 1997.), Myra Monkhouse sings the song to her boyfriend Steve Urkel.

In Rob Zombie's 2003 film House of 1000 Corpses, Baby Firefly performs the song for the family's unwitting victims.

In the Australian musical adaptation of King Kong, the number is performed as Ann Darrow is robbed by thugs who taunt her.

The song also been recorded by performers Vaughn De Leath, Annette Hanshaw, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra, Miss Miller and The Chipettes, Rose Murphy, Verka Serduchka, Patricia Kaas, Sinéad O'Connor, Jinx Titanic, Shiina Ringo, Claire Johnston, Eve's Plum and Barry Manilow (in a duet with the Marilyn Monroe recording) among others.

The song is performed in the 2007 television version of Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors.

The song is on the trailer of the Ti West 2022 movie Pearl.


  1. ^ Secondhandsongs: I Wanna Be Loved By You. Accessed January 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "Good Boy (Broadway, Ed Sullivan Theatre, 1928)". Playbill. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  3. ^ "Public Domain Day 2024 | Duke University School of Law". web.law.duke.edu.

External links[edit]