It Ain't Necessarily So

"It Ain't Necessarily So"
Single by Cher & Larry Adler
from the album The Glory of Gershwin
B-side "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise"
"The Gettysburgh Address"
Released 1994
Format CD single
Recorded 1994
Genre Pop
Length 4:12
Label Mercury Records
Writer(s) George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin
Producer(s) George Martin
Cher chronology
"I Got You Babe"
"It Ain't Necessarily So"
"Love Can Build a Bridge"

"It Ain't Necessarily So" is a popular song with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. The song comes from the Gershwins' opera Porgy and Bess (1935) where it is sung by the character Sportin' Life, a drug dealer, who expresses his doubt about several statements in the Bible.


In the song, the melody for the words "It ain't necessarily so" resembles the melody for the words "Bar'chu et adonai ham'vorach", at the beginning of the aliyah blessing before reading from the Torah.[1]


The role of Sportin' Life was created by John W. Bubbles. Other notable incarnations of the character include Cab Calloway on stage and Sammy Davis, Jr. in the 1959 film.

The song has been covered a number of times during the Rock era. It was included as an album track by The Honeycombs on their debut-album, The Honeycombs in 1964. Released as a single, the song was a major Australian hit in 1965 for singer Normie Rowe,reaching number 5 on the Australian singles charts at that time. Also in 1965 The Moody Blues covered the song for their album, The Magnificent Moodies. The Moody Blues' version is notable for the fact that it was their first recording with band member Ray Thomas singing the lead vocals. In 1984 the song was released as a single by UK band Bronski Beat with Jimmy Somerville being the lead vocalist. Reaching number 16 on the UK singles charts, the song was taken from Bronski Beat's debut-album, The Age of Consent.

Bronski Beat in 1984, Cher in 1994, and Jamie Cullum in 2002, although most notably sung by Aretha Franklin and Bobby Darin on his 1959 album That's All. Aretha also recorded it for her album "Aretha (with the Ray Bryant Combo)". Sting also recorded a version of it. Brian Wilson covered this song in his 2010 Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin album. Hugh Laurie covered it on his 2011 album Let Them Talk. In 2014 Spanish Jazz singer Pedro Ruy-Blas included the song on his album "El Americano".

Cut verse

There is a cut verse that was cut solely for the use of an encore. The lyrics were:

Way back in 5000 B.C.
Ole Adam an' Eve had to flee
Sure, dey did dat deed in
De Garden of Eden
But why chasterize you an' me?[2]

other uses

It Ain't Necessarily So is also the title of the autobiography of the American musician Larry Adler.

It Ain't Necessarily So is also the title of a philosophical paper on modality by Hilary Putnam.


  1. "History of a Nation in Its Song to Itself". The New York Times. January 29, 1997. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  2. Kick, Russ (2007-06-01). Everything You Know About God Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion. Red Wheel Weiser. ISBN 9781934708378.

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 4/12/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.