Summertime Lullaby

Summertime, and the living is easy
Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high
Your daddy’s rich, and your ma is good looking
So hush little baby, don’t you cry.

One of these mornings, you’re gonna rise up singing
You’re gonna spread your wings and take the sky
But till that morning, there is nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mommy standing by.

Summertime is a famous song composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. You may have heard it sung as a snappy jazz standard – however Gershwin was inspired to write it after hearing a Ukrainian lullaby. The back and forth rhythm is both soothing and sad. The lyrics have the same duality – comforting until you think of the context of African American life in the 1920’s when the drama takes place.

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