Flight of the Soul

Having grown up watching every old movie ever made these images are in my DNA, part of my growing up, and live and breath in my heart.  When I stumble on some shared work from one of these movies my heart explodes with gratitude.
Some of the most beautiful words and lyrics we have in the history of American Classical Music have been written by George and Ira Gershwin. They Can’t Take That Away from Me written near the end of George Gershwin‘s life is wrapped with so much love and community, so much respect and reverence for talent and has lived on long past its introduction in Shall We Dance, the 1937 film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Drop into the magic with this clip, featuring this song at the end of the film (and because the YouTuber missed the Dancing that does not happen in the 1937 film, edited in the promise fulfilled with the beautiful movement between the two that is featured in The Barkley’s of Broadway from 1949.  Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers shared a balance and harmony and joy of performing with the other. Their chemistry is unmistakeable and we are all the better for these reminders that the universe celebrates music and dancing, a perfect pairing.
My take away from Ginger Rogers experiencing Fred Astaire sing the Gershwin Brothers tune is one of deep connection to what lies beneath the words and music as we witness Ms. Rogers heart through the lens as she listens to Mr. Astaire singing “the way you changed my life, no, no, they can’t take that away from me…” is beautiful.
George Gershwin died of a brain tumor earlier than anyone would have wished, at the age of 38, two months after Shall We Dance’s release.  George Gershwin was posthumously nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 1937 Oscars.  He was a genius of harmony and melodies. His brother Ira went on writing lyrics with other composers, but, the deep connection of brotherhood the two shared is heard throughout the final song worked on between the two.  The music for Our Love Is Here to Stay by George Gershwin was given lyrics after his death by Ira, who shared, “he would have been quite happy being a book keeper if it hadn’t been for younger brother George’s pushing” offered up these words.
As a fan of words and music, the result of their final earthly collaboration is perfection.


It’s very clear
Our love is here to stay
Not for a year, but forever 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

Grateful for these two men and all the harmony their work continues to evoke.

George, left, and Ira Gershwin in August 1936, less than a year before George died. 

Ira lived to 1983. (Associated Press)


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