It comes from the 1935 musical Porgy and Bess. I love this song, it has so much in it and if you sing, you understand the feeling and emotion that was written in both the music and the lyrics.
It is said to be based on a Ukrainian lullaby called Oi Khodyt Son Kolo Vikon (A Dream Passes By The Windows).
I still remember my grandmother singing this one, always such a calming way to spend a summer evening – especially if you had fallen out of a tree ;-P
American Idol brought this into the current generation again with Fantasia Barrino‘s version on her Free Yourself album.
If you’ve never heard it, try and get a recording by Paul Robeson – WOW – did that guy have a voice. Summertime and Ol’ Man River really are a delight to experience. It kinda makes you feel like your missing out with some of the pop songs we have today…
Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear the original lullaby sung by the Shady Lady herself Ani Lorak?