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01 May 2005

Hey! THIS is Forever!

You mean NOTHING lasts? NOTHING is forever?

Well ... here's something that will last longer than the Old Man of the Mountain. Here's something that will endure longer than the Rock of Gibraltar and the Rocky Mountains. Here's something that's Here to Stay.

This was the last song George Gershwin wrote. When he died, tragically young, in 1937, a reporter phoned novelist John O'Hara and told him. O'Hara replied: "I don't have to believe it if I don't want to."

Gershwin hadn't completely finished the song, but he'd been playing it at parties. His pianist pal Oscar Levant (who described himself as the world's oldest child prodigy) helped finish the score from his memories of the party performances.

Then Ira added the introduction as a requiem, a memorial to his lost brother. The public first heard it in the 1939 movie "Goldwyn Follies."

SWMBO turns into mush and goo when Rod Stewart sings it.

I think the most romantic performance of it is by the young American ex-soldier (Gene Kelly) trying to become a painter in Paris after World War II, to a beautiful Parisienne girl (Leslie Caron) in the movie "An American in Paris." He doesn't have a beautiful voice, he has a soldier's voice, a truck-driver's voice. The only way he can show his love for the beautiful girl is to sing the song with his heart, with his sincerity.

Nat King Cole sings it, Billie Holiday sings it, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald sing it ... every great singer sings this song. Today I sang it up and down the aisles of the Stop & Shop supermarket on King Street.

Our Love Is Here to Stay
music: George Gershwin

(a very lovely, inspired jazz arrangement by the Korean astronomer-musician Maeng, Gil-young, who
calls himself M42, after the galaxy!)

lyrics: Ira Gershwin

The more I read the papers
The less I comprehend
The world with all its capers
And how it all will end

Nothing seems to be lasting
But that isn't our affair
We've got something permanent
I mean in the way we care ...

It's very clear
Our love is here to stay
Not for a year
But ever and a day

The radio and the telephone
And the movies that we know
May just be passing fancies
And in time may go

But, oh my dear,
Our love is here to stay
Together we're
Going a long, long way

In time the Rockies may crumble
Gibraltar may tumble
They're only made of clay
But our love is here to stay


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