PALMETTO POEM: Summertime

Photo from a 2009 production of Porgy and Bess, via WikiMedia Commons.

Editor’s Note:  Contributing editor Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina’s poet laureate, suggested a poem of the lyrics of an oldie but a goodie for the dog days of August – “Summertime,” from the famous George Gershwin song of the same title.  The lyrics were written by Charleston native DuBose Heyward, (1885-1940), a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Heyward and his wife Dorothy wrote the play “Porgy,” which was the basis of the Gershwin opera, “Porgy and Bess.” (See our S.C. Encyclopedia entry to learn more about Heyward.)

Summertime

By DuBose Heyward, 1934

Summertime,
And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Oh, your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry

One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky

But until that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy standing by.

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One Comment

  1. Joe Mendelsohn says:

    Fabulous play and best song ever.

    Right in line with all Willie Nelson’s work.

    How’s that for a stretch of interests?