George Gershwin

Embraceable You, song (from Girl Crazy, musical)

    Description by Adrian Corleonis

    Embraceable You is often reported to have been written especially for Ginger Rogers, who sang it with Allen Kearns in the Gershwins' 1930 musical comedy hit, Girl Crazy. The fact is that it had been composed the year before, with Rogers nowhere in sight, for Florenz Ziegfeld's abortive East Is West, which, on a sudden whim, Ziegfeld shelved to produce the richly haphazard Show Girl. In Girl Crazy, the song became a duet as New York playboy Danny Churchill, exiled by his wealthy father to the Wild West wastes, recalls the life that late he led (in one of Ira Gershwin's smartest lyrics) --

    Dozens of girls would storm up,

    I had to lock my door.

    Somehow I couldn't warm up

    To one before.

    What was it that controlled me?

    What kept my love life lean?

    My intuition told me

    You'd come on the scene

    to which the Rogers character, cowgirl postmistress Molly Gray, responds,

    I went about reciting

    "Here's one who'll never fall!"

    But I'm afraid the writing

    Is on the wall.

    My nose I used to turn up

    When you'd besiege my heart;

    Now I completely burn up

    When you're slow to start

    before coasting into the immortal refrain which imperishably framed the Jazz Age's effervescent vision of romance --

    Embrace me, My sweet embraceable you.

    Embrace me, You irreplaceable you.

    Just one look at you, my heart grew tipsy in me;

    You and you alone bring out the gypsy in me!

    I love all the many charms about you; Above all I want my arms about you.

    If Girl Crazy was largely airheaded fluff, it was nonetheless gorgeous -- a richly resonant summing-up of an era going under in the wake of the Great Depression -- and Embraceable You, balancing the brassy I Got Rhythm, was its crowning glory.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 ICSM ICSM 011
    2018 Oehms Classics OC 019
    2017 Digressione Music DIGR 46
    2017 Masterworks / Sony Classical 88985395202
    2017 Drury Lane Records CDGN 4
    2016 Warner Classics 0190295974930
    2016 ABC Classics
    2015 Dutton Vocalion / Vocalion CDLK 4552
    2015 ABC Classics 4811872
    2015 Guild Light Music GLCD 5231
    2014 Sony Classical 88843047122
    2014 Ricercar RIC 341
    2014 Geffen / Universal Music
    2014 Shout! Factory / Shout! Records
    2014 Bridge BCD 9430
    2013 Atoll / Atoll Records ACD 407
    2013 Albany Music Distribution TROY 1414
    2013 ABC Classics 4810629
    2013 RCA Red Seal / Sony Classical 88725462392
    2012 West Coast Singers
    2012 Aca Digital CM 20031
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099960231123
    2012 USM Media USMMTCD 026
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099967900725
    2011 Decca 4782687
    2011 Decca
    2011 Urania WS 121132
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099909481
    2011 Masterworks Jazz 54862
    2010 Sonoma / Sonoma Entertainment 4021
    2010 EnF / EnF Records 1206
    2010 EMI Classics
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099960669
    2010 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099960668
    2010 Palm Records / Zebralution
    2010 Masterworks / Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution 8869761145
    2009 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099969853
    2009 Parade PAR 2033
    2009 Sony Classical Essential Classics / Sony Classics 50529
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926413
    2008 Madacy / Madacy Entertainment 53760
    2008 Madacy Entertainment 53759
    2008 Avi 8553088
    2008 Virgin Classics 22101
    2008 Dutton Vocalion / Vocalion CDLK 4374
    2008 Guild Light Music 5148
    2007 Rca Red Seal 17051
    2007 RCA Victor Red Seal / RCA Red Seal 11322
    2007 RCA Victor Red Seal / RCA Red Seal 17052
    2007 ABC Classics 4765964
    2007 Scandinavian Classics 220545205
    2007 Ryko Distribution / Ryko / Rykodisc RCD 10913
    2007 Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 741
    2007 Varèse Sarabande 066782
    2006 Oehms Classics / Oehms 554
    2006 Nineteen-Eight
    2006 Landor Records 277
    2006 Sony Music Distribution 77136
    2005 Madacy 50503
    2005 Albany Music Distribution 765
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 5850812
    2005 Fleur de Son 57971
    2004 Golden Classics / Madacy 6493
    2004 ASV/Living Era / Living Era CDAJS 278
    2004 Sony Music Distribution SFK-92388
    2004 Verve 000137936
    2004 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 5862302
    2004 CBC Records 5234
    2003 Nome Company Of Dallas, Inc / Orchard 1721
    2003 ATMA Classique 22253
    2003 Shout! Factory / Biograph 30120
    2003 Collectables 230
    2003 Deutsche Grammophon 000121502
    2003 Philips 000121702
    2003 Sony Classical S2K 89913
    2003 PentaTone Classics 5186021
    2003 Universal 9809662
    2003 DRG 19054
    2002 Dreamworks / Dreamworks SKG 450410
    2002 Dutton Vocalion CDSA 6803
    2002 Turner Classic Movies Music / Rhino 78323
    2002 Orpheus Records / Park South Records 90645
    2002 Reader's Digest Music 9139
    2001 RCA Victor / RCA 63750
    2001 Rhino / WEA Internation 41215
    2000 BIS 5010
    2000 Metier 92030
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 469139
    2000 ASV CDWHL 2124
    1999 Philips 456934
    1999 Classico 235
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 EMI Classics / Angel Records 73380
    1999 Collectables 5886
    1999 Town Hall 46
    1999 BBC Music BBCW 10052
    1999 Madacy 4810
    1998 IMP Classics 6702739
    1998 Materiali 90102
    1998 Sony Classical 60659
    1998 Avid 640
    1998 Nonesuch 79464
    1998 Nonesuch
    1997 Madacy Distribution / Alshire / Madacy 5162
    1997 Madacy 8808
    1997 Madacy 2979
    1997 Madacy 2977
    1997 Fleurs de Lys FL2 3074
    1997 Valley Entertainment 15019
    1997 Centaur Records 2328
    1996 Sony Music Distribution 6839
    1996 Carlton 70063
    1996 Showtunes 1929
    1996 Turtle Creek Chorale 1090
    1995 Fat Boy 271
    1995 Avid 520
    1995 Silva Treasury 3007
    1995 Koch Classics 322040
    1994 Memoir Classics 509
    1993 Vanguard 6002
    1993 ASV / ASV/Living Era 2077
    1993 White Line / ASV / ASV/Living Era CDWHL 2077
    1992 Angel Records / Capitol 64670
    1992 Biograph BCD-106
    1989 BMG / RCA 9613-2-R
    1989 CBS Records / Columbia 7927
    1988 Reader's Digest Music 081
    1987 CBS Records 42516
    1987 Angel Records / Warner Classics 0777747454
    Capitol 29384
    Memoir Classics 502
    Alanna 5564
    Mastersound 214
    RCA 62578
    RPO 9002
    EMI Music Distribution 574729-2
    IMP Classics 6700632
    Bolshoi/BMG
    EXL 4234
    Smithsonian Records 107
    RST Records 91592
    Mastersound 11
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 7692182
    Pro-Arte Records 547
    Doyen 011
    Teldec 60742
    Philips 454727
    Atma 9722
    Madacy 4440
    Music Club Records 183
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 5570492
    Soundscreen 5151