Words: Noble Sissle; Music: Eubie Blake (1921)

Lyrics

I’m just wild about Harry
And Harry’s wild about me.
The heav’nly blisses
Of his kisses
Fill me with ecstasy.

He’s sweet just like choc’late candy,
And just like honey from a bee.
Oh, I’m just wild about Harry,
And Harry’s wild about –
Just can’t do without –
Harry’s wild about me.

Background

“I’m Just Wild About Harry” was written for the 1921 Broadway show Shuffle Along. “I’m Just Wild About Harry” was the most popular number of the production, which was the first financially successful Broadway play to have African-American writers and an all African-American cast. The song broke what had been a taboo against musical and stage depictions of romantic love between African-Americans.

Originally written as a waltz, Blake rewrote the number as a foxtrot at the singer’s request. The result was a simple, direct, joyous, and infectious tune enhanced onstage by improvisational dancing. In 1948 Harry Truman selected “I’m Just Wild About Harry” as his campaign song for the United States presidential election of 1948. Its success in politics led to a popular revival.

Performances

Here is a charming, up-tempo recording by the great Judy Garland: