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“Our Love Is Here to Stay” (1938) was the last song that George Gershwin composed before his untimely and unexpected death. Oscar Levant initially found the melody line too long and too complicated, leading George to spend two days rewriting before he returned to the original. Fortunately Levant had listened very closely; Gershwin had played “Love is Here to Stay”, “Love Walked In” and “I Was Doing Alright”, but hadn’t written them down. Levant remembered the harmonies well enough for Vernon Duke to recreate the originals.
Ira Gershwin wrote the lyrics after George’s death, based on an idea that George had told both Ira and Oscar Levant about. The original working title was “It’s Here to Stay”, followed by “Our Love Is Here to Stay” and then by “Love Is Here to Stay”. For years Ira Gershwin said that, while he wanted to change the title back to “Our Love Is Here to Stay”, he felt it wouldn’t be right, as the song had already become a standard. Written for “The Goldwyn Follies” (1938), the song became better known when included in “An American in Paris” (1951).
George Gershwin (1898-1937) and Ira Gershwin (1896-1983) were prodigiously creative and productive; their musical “Of Thee I Sing” was the first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize; Ira was the first lyricist to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama. The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was named for the brothers; both were the recipients of numerous awards: Grammy Hall of Fame, Grammy Trustees Award, and shared a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.