farewell, Eartha

Yesterday the world lost an amazing performer. Mistress of song, stage and screen Eartha Kitt died at age 81.

She may be best known for her role as Catwoman on the campy 60s TV show Batman, a character that she played with inimitable style and finesse. Not to mention with a growl.

She also had an amazing singing voice. My favorite song of hers has to be “I Want to be Evil.”

I Want to Be Evil

I’ve posed for pictures with Ivory Soap,
I’ve petted stray dogs, and shied clear of dope
My smile is brilliant, my glance is tender
But I’m noted most for my unspoiled gender
I’ve been made Miss Reingold, though I never touch beer,
And I’m the person to whom they say, “Your sweet, My Dear.”
The only etchings I’ve seen have been behind glass,
And the closest I’ve been to a bar, is at ballet class.

Prim and proper, the girl who’s never been cased,
I’m tired of being pure and not chased.
Like something that seeks it’s level
I wanna go to the devil.

I want to be evil, I wanna spit tacks
I want to be evil, and cheat at jacks
I want to be wicked, I wanna tell lies
I want to be mean, and throw mud pies

I want to wake up in the morning
with that dark brown taste
I want to see some dissipation in my face
I want to be evil, I wanna be mad
But more that that I want to be bad

I wanna be evil, and trump an ace,
Just to see my partner’s face.
I want to be nasty, I want to be cruel
I want to be daring, I want to shoot pool

And in the theatre
I want to change my seat
Just so I can step on
Everybody’s feet

I want to be evil, I want to hurt flies
I want to sing songs like the guy who cries
I want to be horrid, I want to drink booze
And whatever I’ve got I’m eager to lose

I want to be evil, little evil me
Just as mean and evil as I can be

6 responses to “farewell, Eartha

  1. Ha! That is also my favourite Eartha Kitt song. Haven’t heard in years – thanks!

  2. I missed that. So sad. She had the most amazing voice and an equal amount of attitude. My favourite? ‘Santa Baby’ — of course.

  3. And Santa Baby died on Christmas Day. Kick-Ass indeed.

  4. Love, love this song. Used it as a discussion point when I lead class on Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.

    Thanks for posting the lyrics!

  5. i’m incredibly amused that we posted the same video in our eartha entries.

    (have you seen chiwetel ejiofor’s performance of it in kinky boots?)

  6. Eartha Kitt seemed to live a fuller life than most people ever manage to do.. and it was so funny to find out that she was a voice in “The Emperor’s New Groove”

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