"Summertime" is a 1934 aria composed by American composer and pianist George Gershwin. Gershwin composed the song for his 1935 English-language opera, Porgy and Bess, while the lyrics were written by his younger brother Ira Gershwin and American writer DuBose Heyward. In fact, Gershwin's opera is based on Heyward's most popular novel, titled Porgy (1925).
1. Structure and Setting
"Summertime" has two verses, and the text is syllabic (one note pre-syllable). Gershwin masterfully blends several musical genres, making the song easily adaptable to different styles. Thus, following its production, "Summertime" has been recorded numerous times by various artists—such as Billie Holliday, Sam Cooke, Ella Fitzgerald, and Janis Joplin. Gershwin did, however, receive some criticism for the lyrics, as some considered them racist and offensive to black people:
Summertime, an' the livin'...
(The entire section contains 434 words.)