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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summertime - Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
with lyric

" Summertime " is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess

The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, although the song is also co-credited to Ira Gershwin by ASCAP.
The song soon became a popular and much recorded jazz standard, described as "without doubt ... one of the finest songs the composer ever wrote ... Gershwin's highly evocative writing brilliantly mixes elements of jazz and the song styles of blacks in the southeast United States from the early twentieth century". 

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim has characterized Heyward's lyrics for "Summertime" and "My Man's Gone Now" as "the best lyrics in the musical theater". The song is recognized as one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music, with more than 33,000 covers by groups and solo performers.

Ella Fitzgerald
(High Quality - Remastered)
"Summertime" 1935 Composer: George Gershwin
Summertime And you'll fly to the sky
And the livin' is easy But till that morning
Fish are jumpin' There's a'nothing can harm you
And the cotton is high With daddy and mamma standing by
Your daddy's rich One of these mornings
And your mamma's good lookin' You're going to rise up singing
So hush little baby Then you'll spread your wings
Don't you cry And you'll fly to the sky
One of these mornings But till that morning
You're going to rise up singing There's a'nothing can harm you
Then you'll spread your wings With daddy and mamma standing by

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Heyward’s inspiration for the lyrics was the southern folk spiritual-lullaby "All My Trials", of which he had Clara sing a snippet in his play Porgy. The lyrics have been highly praised by Stephen Sondheim
Writing of the opening line, he says: That "and" is worth a great deal of attention. I would write "Summertime when" but that "and" sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like "My Man's Gone Now".  It's the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. "Summertime when the livin' is easy" is a boring line compared to "Summertime and". 
The choices of "ands" [and] "buts" become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much.

Ella Fitzgerald · The Paul Smith Quartet
Ella In Berlin - Live

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