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Love Is Here To Stay

     The weekly tunes have been taking a bit of vacation, I regret to report.  Then too, in some ways I don’t regret to report it, but in any case, I plan to return to them with more regularity and renewed vigor as the equinox approaches.  Still, in the meantime, I got a request from one Julie, a Google-landed listener, who wanted to hear the verse to one of the Gershwins’ last songs, Love Is Here To Stay,  

     Though the tune happens to be on my CD, I had never played the verse to it until some months ago with Greg and Rene Cantwell.  It’s a good verse.  I don’t quite rank it with the one to I’ve Got a Crush on You (which verse I did play on the CD if you’re interested) or the one to How Long Has This Been Going On, or some others.  Still, it’s fine and as with all verses, good or bad, a great part of their effect comes from setting up the song dramatically.  When one finally goes from the usually obscure verse to the well-known refrain – “It’s very clear…” – one tends to go “Ahh”.   It is a double joy: the familiar refrain and the sudden, new context.  It may be something of cheap trick, boosted traditionally by doing verses ad lib and then going into tempo at the refrain, but it works very dependably.  Let’s call it a delightfully inexpensive trick.

     In keeping with my summer lassitude here, I recorded the verse and then attached my earlier recording of the refrain.  When I say earlier, I mean twenty-some years earlier.  I was in the thrall of Art Tatum then, the greatest jazz pianist ever, and keen to copy his approach to the extent any human can.  No one can really match him but his style was marked by a lot of tenths in the left hand, and lots of runs in the right (and left too, actually) and a very playful harmonic sense with a lot of chromatic messing around.  This approach does not make for the most tender rendering, I realize, but after a fairly frenetic ad lib reading I settle into a fairly easy tempo.  (It is interesting to note that for all of Tatum’s harmonic meanderings, he was never very far from the melody.  I still can’t hear him without feeling a kind of giddy musical vertigo.  But I digress.)  Click on the title below to hear the verse and refrain.  The lyrics are below.

Love is Here to Stay 


The more I read the papers

The less I comprehend

The world and 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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