Getting to Know You (song)- 1951

“Getting to Know You” is a show tune from the 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I. It was first sung by Gertrude Lawrence in the original Broadway production and later by Marni Nixon who dubbed for Deborah Kerr in the 1956 film adaptation. In the show, Anna sings the song as she strikes up a warm and affectionate relationship with the children and the wives of the King of Siam.

This song is one of the cases during the Rodgers and Hammerstein partnership when Rodgers re-used a melody he had written for an earlier show and then discarded. In this case the melody was a tune he wrote for South Pacific, called “Suddenly Hungry and Sad”, which he originally intended for the character of Nellie to sing but replaced it with the song “(I’m in Love with) a Random Guy”. Mary Martin, the star of South Pacific, who had proposed that Rodgers should cast Yul Brynner as the King, reminded Rodgers of this tune, and so Hammerstein wrote new lyrics to it. James Taylor covered the song off of the children’s music compilation called For Our Children.

Popular versions on record include James Taylor, Dinah Shore, Sharon, Lois & Bram, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, and Nancy Wilson. Leon Redbone sang the song in ads for the Chevrolet Geo. A version by NRBQ is included on their album Brass Tacks.

In 2015, the song was used as a closing credits theme for Season 3 of the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. Recently TransUnion has begun employing the song in its commercials promoting the company’s credit monitoring service.

The song is featured in a scene in a film by the character J. O. Incandenza, in David Foster Wallace magnum opus Infinite Jest. See footnote 280 of the book.