I Wanna Be Loved by You

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"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 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 farce Some Like It Hot.

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


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.[2] Betty Boop performs the number 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 cultureEdit

In 1950, the song was performed by Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter in the movie, Three Little Words, with Reynolds's voice dubbed by Helen Kane.

On a Gilligan's Island episode, Ginger Grant sings the song on at least one occasion for the castaways to entertain them. 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 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.


  1. ^ Secondhandsongs: I Wanna Be Loved By You. Accessed January 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Gabrielle Bellot: The Forgotten Black Woman Behind Betty Boop. The Cut, March 15, 2017, accessed January 1, 2021

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