They Can't Take That Away from Me

From Wind Repertory Project
George Gershwin

George Gershwin (arr. Warren Barker)

General Info

Year: 1937 / 2001
Duration: c. 3:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts - $87.00   |   Score Only - $9.00


Full Score
Vocal/Piano score
Solo E-flat Alto Saxophone (optional)
Solo B-flat Tenor Saxophone (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Drum Set
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

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. 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.

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.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Central Iowa Wind Ensemble (Des Moines) (Christian Carichner, conductor) - 7 May 2023
  • Charlottesville (Va.) Municipal Band (Stephen R. Layman, conductor) – 18 June 2019
  • Charlottesville (Va.) Municipal Band (Steve Layman, conductor; Jessica Wiseman, vocal) – 1 November 2016
  • Arkansas Winds Community Concert Band (Fayetteville) (Michael Ferguson, conductor; Katie Young, vocal) – 4 July 2015
  • Sinfonisches Blasorchester Böhler Düsseldorf (Germany) 29 November 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

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