Summertime on Throwback Thursdays

Member Stuart Stotts shares this beautiful American masterpiece.

Photo by  Ben Aveling
Photo by Ben Aveling

I love the song “Summertime” by George Gershwin, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward from the opera Porgy and Bess. I’ve sung it with kids and families for years. It’s so evocative, and it’s a good minor key song. I’ve learned how much kids like singing in minor keys. Minor keys aren’t just about “scary” or “sad.” As I was talking about this in a training the other day, a provider said they were “soulful.” I thought that nailed it.

With older kids I might talk a little about the opera it comes from but mostly I just launch into it. I sing it once and then do it as a call and response song. It works really well, except for the last line, which I may give the audience as it approaches. People love to sing it. I find often kids look at their mom when the line “Your Momma’s good looking” goes by, as if they’d never really thought about it.

It’s a song worth passing on to the next generation. And at its heart, it’s a folk song.

Here’s a version by Ella Fitzgerald


Here is one by Janis Joplin

1 comment

  1. Thanks for this. Never would have thought to do this with children even though I love this song. xo

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