Ira Gershwin: Selected Lyrics

( 3 )


The collaboration of Ira and George Gershwin was one of the summits of American popular music. Ira Gershwin's lyrics-with their stylish simplicity, exuberant comic invention, and colloquial eloquence-have entered the culture, and Robert Kimball has collected the most memorable of them into a beguiling collection that includes

Fascinating ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (15) from $2.72   
  • New (7) from $7.00   
  • Used (8) from $2.72   
Sending request ...


The collaboration of Ira and George Gershwin was one of the summits of American popular music. Ira Gershwin's lyrics-with their stylish simplicity, exuberant comic invention, and colloquial eloquence-have entered the culture, and Robert Kimball has collected the most memorable of them into a beguiling collection that includes

Fascinating Rhythm Oh, Lady, Be Good!
Someone to Watch Over Me
'S Wonderful My One and Only How Long Has This Been Going On?
I've Got a Crush on You Embraceable You I Got Rhythm But Not for Me Let's Call the Whole Thing Off They Can't Take That Away from Me A Foggy Day (In London Town)
Nice Work If You Can Get It Long Ago (and Far Away)
The Man That Got Away and dozens more.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598530520
  • Publisher: Library of America
  • Publication date: 9/17/2009
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,155,452
  • Product dimensions: 4.68 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Kimball, editor, is a historian of the American musical theater whose books include The Gershwins (with Alfred Simon), Reminiscing with Sissle and Blake (with William Bolcom), Reading Lyrics (with Robert Gottlieb), and volumes of the complete lyrics of Hart, Gershwin, Berlin, and Loesser. He also edited Cole Porter: Selected Lyrics, volume #21 in The Library of America's American Poets Project.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Selected Lyrics
    Edited by Robert Kimball
    Goldberg McDuffie Communications
    ISBN: 978-1-59853-052-0
    $20.00 - Hardback
    189 pages
    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)