Always True to You in My Fashion

Reviewed by mojo

This is yet another favorite song from Kiss Me Kate. When I was growing up it was always Ann Miller; now it's Ella.

Always True to You is one of those cunningly amusing "list" songs, with the added bonus of a trollopy little minx (earlier in the play, as Kate's sister Bianca, she sings I'm a maid who will marry/And will take with no qualm/Any Tom, Dick or Harry/Any Harry, Dick or Tom..." justifying her occasional lapses in fidelity. Which are lapses purely in a moral sort of sense, since financially she's coming out ahead every time, as she is quick to point out.

The phrasing is different as these two different women sing the song, and while it's subtle, I think here is a prime example of Ella's general superiority over just about every other person on the planet. There's a lot of words being sung, and while yeah, they all fit, it's a pretty crowded song. Ann Miller always emphasized the YOU at the expense of the word "darling"--it nearly always came out "But I'm ALways TRUE to YOU, dar-ling, in my FASHion". Which always dragged "darling" sort of awkwardly over a break. Not badly, mind you--the song is too well-written to screw it up TOO much--but I never thought there were too many variations on this phrasing until I heard Ella's version.

Ella treats the phrase "true to you" as a sort of triplet and puts an emphasis on the DAR of DARling, which is where it would be if you were indeed saying it to one's darling, assuring them of your fidelity. "But I'm ALways true-to-you DARling in my FASHion" scans just a hair better, since it puts the proper emphasis on how one would say the word DARling.

This is the petty sort of nitpicking one can expect from Mojo. This is why she is not invited to more parties. But therein lies the true genius of Ella. Like most brilliant people, it's not any HUGE change, but these subtle little tweaks that make all the difference.

Always True to You in My Fashion (1956)

in
Click below to hear a sample--or scroll down for associated media: 
Disc Number: 
1
Composer: 
Cole Porter
Lyricist: 
Cole Porter
Time: 
2:48

From Wikipedia:

 

"Always True to You in My Fashion" is a 1948 show-tune by Cole Porter, written for the musical Kiss Me, Kate. In the lyrics, the singer protests that she is always faithful to her main love in her own way, despite seeing, and accepting gifts from, wealthy older men.

It is sung in the later part of the film by Lois (Bianca) to her love interest, Bill (Lucentio), who has become frustrated with Lois's penchant for older wealthy men.

The song was notably sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie. It is based on a similarly ironic poem by Ernest Dowson (1867-1900) that featured the line: "I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion."