Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


George Gershwin

Love Is Here to Stay was the Gershwins' last song. Already, in May 1937, George began to complain of fatigue, and by June he was suffering frequent headaches and spells of dizziness. Under contract to Samuel Goldwyn to supply songs and extended musical sequences for a film extravaganza, The Goldwyn Follies, the brothers worked between George's sieges of malaise and Ira confected one of his most unaffectedly affecting lyrics:

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...

Of the five songs composed for The Goldwyn Follies, Love Walked In and Love Is Here to Stay, though cast in the simple verse-refrain mode of popular song, both possess a disarming directness transcending categories and defying time. During June, George's headaches and spells of dizziness became more frequent and worse as a cadre of doctors continued to misdiagnose the malignant brain tumor for which he was, at last, operated upon and from which he died on July 11. His friend, composer Vernon Duke (born Vladimir Dukelsky in Parafianovo, Russia), was engaged by Goldwyn to pick up the musical threads. "All that could be found of 'Love Is Here to Stay,'" he recalled, "was a 20-bar incomplete lead sheet; fortunately, Oscar Levant remembered the harmonies from George's frequent piano performances of the song and I was able faithfully to reconstruct it." In The Goldwyn Follies it was given short shrift -- over in a flash -- and had to wait until Gene Kelly's sympathetic rendering, as an American soldier who remains in Paris after World War II to paint, in the 1951 An American in Paris, to make its impact from the screen.