According to the Mel Tormé book The Other Side of the Rainbow with Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol, Van Heusen originally wrote the song for Garland to sing at a CBS dinner. At that time, Garland had just signed to do The Judy Garland Show on CBS, and the intent of the song was to parody her well-known problems. Garland later sang the song on the seventh episode of the show.
However, in 1988, Sammy Cahn said during an interview with freelance writer Harlan Conti, in San Francisco, that the song was originally written for Fred Astaire to sing in the film Papa's Delicate Condition in which Astaire was to star. Cahn personally auditioned the song for Astaire's approval, which was given. However, Astaire's contractual obligations prevented him from making the film and the role went to Jackie Gleason, who introduced the song. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 36th Academy Awards held in 1964.
Since I'm always making resolutions Seems every night for me is New Year's eve Things they chisel on those institutions These lofty thoughts I've never quite achieved Each time I take a bow when everything went well Things go alright and there am I saying I meant well
Call me irresponsible, call me unreliable Throw in undependable too Do my foolish alibis bore you Well, I'm not too clever, I just adore you
Call me unpredictable, tell me I'm impractical Rainbows, I'm inclined to pursue Call me irresponsible, yes, I'm unreliable But it's undeniably true I'm irresponsibly mad for you
Call me irresponsible, yes, I'm unreliable But it's undeniably true I'm irresponsibly mad for you