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Posted November 16, 2009
Granted, I love music so these comments may be a mite biased . For me, the partnership of George and Ira Gershwin produced some of the best popular music we know or will ever know. Whether it was a song that touched your heart or a melody that made you want to get up and dance they were music masters. We cannot think of one Gershwin without the other.
However, since many of us are "hummers," tending to remember a tune rather than words perhaps not enough emphasis has been placed on the brilliant lyrics of Ira. Now, in this all too brief volume we are privileged to read and reread his words, perhaps realizing for the first time what a truly amazing lyricist he was.
The breadth of his writing astounds as he excelled in both comedic (Let's Call The Whole Thing Off) and dramatic (The Man That Got Away) veins. "Good lyrics," Ira once told one of George's biographers, "should be simple, colloquial, rhymed conversation." Ira's lyrics were that yet so much more, they often reflected the way we spoke during the years that he wrote. He had an ear for the man (and woman) on the street, penning lyrics that reflected their thoughts and aspirations.
Irving Berlin, after singing "A Foggy Day In London Town" over the telephone to a friend said, "Never forget how great Ira was." This collection of his song lyrics will help us remember.
- Gail Cooke
Posted November 15, 2009
Edited by Robert Kimball
Goldberg McDuffie Communications
$20.00 - Hardback
Reviewer: Annie Slessman
"Dozens of girls would storm up; I had a lock on my door. Somehow I couldn't warm up to one before. What was it that controlled me? What kept my love life lean? My intuition told me you'd come on the scene. Lady, listen to the rhythm of my heartbeat, and you get just what I mean." That folks is the first verse of "EMBRACEABLE YOU," lyrics by Ira Gershwin. This and many more of the great lyrics written by Ira Gershwin are included in a book edited by Robert Kimball called Ira Gershwin Selected Lyrics. Long a fan of Gershwin music, I quickly took this book in hand and finally learned the lyrics to the songs I have hummed most of my life. I was always one of those people who could hum an entire song with a familiar lyric slipping out once in awhile. This book afforded me the opportunity to sing my heart out and actually sing the entire song.
Classics like, Someone to Watch Over Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It, They Can't Take That Away From Me, Oh, Lady Be Good, How Long Has This Been Going On, I Got Rhythm, and on and on.remain a part of the mind's repertoire of those who grew up with this music. When you hear someone say, "they just don't write lyrics like that today," they are right. They don't. Now, I am not putting down the music of today.much of it is beautifully written and performed. But a classic is a classic and the music of Ira Gershwin would certainly be classified among the classics.
If you grew up with this music, or, if you want to study the lyrics of a man who left an impression in the music industry.this is a great book to read and keep on your bookshelves.
Posted September 20, 2010
No text was provided for this review.