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"I Get a Kick Out of You" is a song by Cole Porter, which was first sung in the 1934 Broadway musical Anything Goes, and then in the 1936 film version. Originally sung by Ethel Merman, it has been covered by dozens of prominent performers, including Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. A cover in 1995 won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocal(s) for arranger Rob McConnell.

Alterations to the songEdit

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.

After the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping,[1] Porter changed the second and third lines to:

Flying too high with some guy in the sky
Is my idea of nothing to do

In the 1936 movie version, alternative lyrics in the second verse were provided to replace a reference to the drug cocaine, which was not allowed by Hollywood's Production Code of 1934.

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[2] 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 the "Some like the bop-type refrain" on Sinatra and Swingin' Brass.

All three of the above alternatives are mentioned in the liner notes to Joan Morris and William Bolcom's CD, Night and Day; on the recording, Morris sings the original second verse.

References in popular cultureEdit

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.[3]

In 1968 schlager singer Hildegard Knef released a version of the song with German lyrics by Mischa Mleinek called "Nichts haut mich um, aber du" ("Nothing knocks me over but you").[4]

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. Bart sings the first line of the controversial "cocaine" verse before being interrupted.

In Kenneth Branagh's 2000 musical film adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost, Don Armado, played by Timothy Spall, sings the song in an exaggerated Castilian accent.

In the song "One Beer" on his 2004 album Mm.. Food, rapper MF DOOM parodies the first verse of the song, concluding it with "I get a kick out of brew."

In Kenneth Branagh's 2017 version of Murder on the Orient Express the song is used without lyrics, starting from the scene where the train is exiting the tunnel into the mountains in the morning, too the passengers dining and sipping champagne. Although most famously sung by Ethel Merman this version from 1935 was sung by Sally Singer but is never heard unless searched online.


  1. ^ Cole. Robert Kimball, ed. and Brendan Gill. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1973. p. 122.
  2. ^ Frank Sinatra. The Best of the Capitol Years, Capitol Records, 1992. This compilation has the "cocaine" lyric.
  3. ^ "I Get a Kick Out of U"
  4. ^