|"They Can't Take That Away from Me"|
|Song by Fred Astaire|
|B-side||"(I've Got) Beginner's Luck"|
|Published||February 27, 1937 by Gershwin Publishing Corp., New York |
|Released||April 1937 |
|Recorded||March 14, 1937 |
|Studio||Los Angeles, California|
|Genre||Jazz, Pop Vocal|
|Fred Astaire singles chronology|
"They Can't Take That Away from Me" is a 1937 popular song with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film Shall We Dance and gained huge success.
The song is performed by Astaire on the lonely foggy deck of a ferry from New Jersey to Manhattan. It is sung to Ginger Rogers, who remains silent listening throughout. No dance sequence follows, which was unusual for the Astaire-Rogers numbers. Astaire and Rogers did dance to it later in their last movie The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) in which they played a married couple with marital issues. The song, in the context of Shall We Dance, notes some of the things that Peter (Astaire) will miss about Linda (Rogers). The lyrics include "the way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea", and "the way you hold your knife, the way we danced till three". Each verse is followed by the line "no, no, they can't take that away from me". The basic meaning of the song is that even if the lovers part, though physically separated the nostalgic memories  cannot be forced from them. Thus, it is a song of mixed joy and sadness.
The verse references the song "The Song Is Ended (but the Melody Lingers On)" by Irving Berlin:
George Gershwin died two months after the film's release, and he was posthumously nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 1937 Oscars but lost out to "Sweet Leilani" which had been made tremendously popular by Bing Crosby.
The song is featured in Kenneth Branagh's musical version of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost (2000), in Stephen Herek's Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), and in Barry Levinson's Rain Man (1988). The melodic hardcore band Strung Out also sampled the song for the intro of "Analog", the opening track on their 2004 album Exile in Oblivion .
"Something's Gotta Give" is a popular song with words and music by Johnny Mercer in 1954. It was published in 1955. It was written for and first performed by Fred Astaire in the 1955 musical film Daddy Long Legs, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1955 as Best Original Song, losing to "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" from the film of the same name.
"Cheek to Cheek" is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1934–35, specifically for the star of his new musical, Fred Astaire. The movie was Top Hat, co-starring Ginger Rogers. In the movie, Astaire sings the song to Rogers as they dance. The song was nominated for the Best Song Oscar for 1936, which it lost to "Lullaby of Broadway". The song spent five weeks at #1 on Your Hit Parade and was named the #1 song of 1935. Astaire's 1935 recording with the Leo Reisman Orchestra was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2004, Astaire's version finished at No. 15 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
"The Way You Look To-night" is a song from the film Swing Time that was performed by Fred Astaire and composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics written by Dorothy Fields. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936. Fields remarked, "The first time Jerry played that melody for me I went out and started to cry. The release absolutely killed me. I couldn't stop, it was so beautiful."
"A Fine Romance" is a popular song composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields, published in 1936.
"Dancing in the Dark" is a popular American song, with music by Arthur Schwartz and lyrics by Howard Dietz, that was first introduced by John Barker with Tilly Losch dancing in the 1931 revue The Band Wagon. The song was first recorded by Bing Crosby on August 19, 1931 with Studio Orchestra directed by Victor Young, staying on the pop charts for six weeks, peaking at #3, and helping to make it a lasting standard.
The 1941 recording by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra earned Shaw one of his eight gold records at the height of the Big Band era of the 1930s and 1940s.
"But Not for Me" is a popular song originally written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin for the musical Girl Crazy (1930).
"Nice Work If You Can Get It" is a popular song and jazz standard composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin.
"Embraceable You" is a jazz standard song with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. The song was written in 1928 for an unpublished operetta named East Is West. It was published in 1930 and included in that year's Broadway musical Girl Crazy, performed by Ginger Rogers in a song and dance routine choreographed by Fred Astaire.
"I've Got The World on a String" is a 1932 popular jazz song composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics written by Ted Koehler. It was written for the twenty-first edition of the Cotton Club series which opened on October 23, 1932, the first of the Cotton Club Parades.
"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" is a song written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin for the 1937 film Shall We Dance, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as part of a celebrated dance duet on roller skates. The sheet music has the tempo marking of "Brightly". The song was ranked No. 34 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs.
"Fascinating Rhythm" is a popular song written by George Gershwin in 1924 with lyrics by Ira Gershwin.
"'S Wonderful" is a 1927 popular song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics written by Ira Gershwin. It was introduced in the Broadway musical Funny Face (1927) by Adele Astaire and Allen Kearns.
"Slap That Bass" is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, introduced by Fred Astaire and Dudley Dickerson in the 1937 film Shall We Dance.
"A Foggy Day" is a popular song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. The song was introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress. It was originally titled "A Foggy Day " in reference to the pollution-induced pea soup fogs that were common in London during that period, and is often still referred to by the full title.
The commercial recording by Astaire for Brunswick was very popular in 1937.
"(I've Got) Beginner's Luck" is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, written for the 1937 film Shall We Dance, it was introduced by Fred Astaire. It's a brief comic tap solo with cane where Astaire's rehearsing to a record of the number is cut short when the record gets stuck. Astaire's commercial recording for Brunswick was very popular in 1937.
"I Can't Be Bothered Now" is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, written for the 1937 film A Damsel In Distress, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire.
"Strike Up the Band" is a 1927 song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin with the collaboration of Millie Raush. It was written for the 1927 musical Strike Up the Band, where it formed part of a satire on war and militaristic music. Although the musical was not successful, the instrumental version of the song, titled the "March from Strike Up the Band", has become quite well known. The song was also used in the Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney 1940 film Strike Up the Band.
"Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for the 1935 film Top Hat, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire.
"Isn't This a Lovely Day?" is a popular song written by Irving Berlin for the 1935 film Top Hat, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire in the scene where his and Ginger Rogers' characters are caught in a gazebo during a rainstorm. The lyric is an example of a song which turns a bad situation into a love song, a common style for Irving Berlin, as in I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm and Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee.
"It's All Right with Me" is a popular song written by Cole Porter, for his 1953 musical Can-Can, where it was introduced by Peter Cookson as the character Judge Aristide Forestier.