“It’s Bad For Me” is not a Cole Porter song that makes it to lists of his “top 100” and yet has been widely recorded. It first appeared in his 1933, musical, “Nymph Errant “, a somewhat controversial story about a young, English lady intent on losing her virginity that English women were expected to prize. As musical theatre, the show was considered to be “too English” for American audiences of the day and it did not appear on Broadway until 1982. The costumes in one scene were even called “the most daring ever seen on the English stage”. Supposedly, Porter considered the score among his best because of its worldliness and sexual sophistication.
Other songs from the show that are revived from time to time include “How Could We Be Wrong?” (see my post 2/18/18), “Experiment” and “The Physician”.
Despite its relative obscurity, “It’s Bad for Me” has a jaunty sense of swing to it that engages the listener and the lyrics are clever and charming.
“For it’s bad for me, it’s bad for me, This knowledge that you’re going mad for me” “It’s so good for me, so new for me, To see someone in such a stew for me,”
“Oh, it’s sweet for me, it’s swell for me, To know that you’re going through hell for me” Many artists change some of the words and only sing the refrains of Porter’s songs. I chose to highlight these versions by Carol Merrill and Julie Wilson as they sing all of the lyrics the way they were originally written.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmme__h1Zas (Carol Merrill)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNwhVeVOEB8 (Julie Wilson)