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The Complete Lyrics of Ira Gershwin
     

The Complete Lyrics of Ira Gershwin

by Ira Gershwin, Robert Kimball
 
The most literate and word-loving of our great lyricists, Ira Gershwin described his writing as "simple, colloquial, rhymed conversational lines." Yet these "simple" lines were so irresistibly witty and enticing that dozens of them have made their way into the musical vernacular of the twentieth century, the common memory of a song-loving culture. Now, for the first

Overview

The most literate and word-loving of our great lyricists, Ira Gershwin described his writing as "simple, colloquial, rhymed conversational lines." Yet these "simple" lines were so irresistibly witty and enticing that dozens of them have made their way into the musical vernacular of the twentieth century, the common memory of a song-loving culture. Now, for the first time, Ira Gershwin's entire body of work is brought together in one volume. Here are the words of more than 700 songs (nearly 400 of them never before published), beginning with his first composition and taking us through his splendid, nearly fifty-year-long career to the last songs he wrote for the 1964 film Kiss Me, Stupid.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kimball's scholarship of the musical theater lends considerable authority to this grandiose undertaking, begun after Ira Gershwin's death in 1983. Kimball exhumed 700 lyrics (sans scores)--400 of which were unpublished--from archives, manuscripts, private collections, and more. His introduction offers biographical bits, a creative overview, and a chronology of personal and professional facts regarding Gershwin, along with an explanation of the editor's research methodology. The vast body of text includes show titles, lyrics, and existent production and publication details. Narrative by Gershwin, taken from Lyrics on Several Occasions (Knopf, 1959), punctuates many entries. Companion volumes include Kimball's The Gershwins ( LJ 12/1/73) and Edward Jablonski's Gershwin: A Biography (Doubleday, 1987). An invaluable compendium for scholar, singer, and generalist; recommended for most collections. (Photos not seen.)-- Cynthia Cordes, OCPL, Syracuse, N . Y.
Ray Olson
Presuming your library serves a community in which anybody sings or gets together to put on a musical, do you need to be told you probably gotta have this book? Ira Gershwin was the lyricist for his brother, George, without whom it sometimes seems there would be no songs in America, as well as, after George's death, for Weill, Copland, Kern, and similar luminaries. Although it's not apparent at this writing that the index herein will be the most useful kind--namely, one of titles, first lines, and first lines of refrains (because they, aka the choruses, are the most familiar parts of songs to the most people)--at least all the titles appear under the appropriate years or shows in the table of contents. The lyrics proper come in three-column display; each song has a headnote relaying its place in a show (or shows), who first sang it, its alternate titles, etc., and sometimes including Ira's comments from his own selection from his work, "Lyrics on Several Occasions" (1959). Hey, even if the index turns out less than ideal, still--'s wonderful! 's marvelous!
Booknews
In response to "What Can You Say in a Love Song (That Hasn't Been Said Before)?," as one of Gershwin's 1934 Broadway lyrics asks, one commentator says plenty if you are one of America's greatest lyricists. Includes a chronology, period photos, and additions/corrections to previously published lyrics. Indexed by title and first line. Originally published by Knopf, 1993. Alas, Gershwin is not still with us as a centenarian as per the CiP. 10.25x11.5". Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394556512
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/16/1993
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
10.94(w) x 11.74(h) x 1.47(d)

Meet the Author


Musical theater historian Robert Kimball is the editor of The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter. He lives in New York City.

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