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August 31: Alan Jay Lerner

August 31, 2014

mGVtewqqoY7AbtRDk-vzfXgLyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner, who with Frederick Lowe created such Broadway and film hits as Brigadoon (1947), Paint Your Wagon (1951), An American in Paris (1951), My Fair Lady (1956), and Camelot (1960), was born in New York on this date in 1918. Lerner also collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Burton Lane, and Kurt Weill. “His lyrics were marked by warmth and civilized urbanity, coupled with the highest order of craftsmanship,” says the website of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, to which he was inducted in 1971. Among his many other honors, he won three Academy Awards and three Tony Awards. Lerner married eight times (including to Nina Bushkin, a distant cousin of your Jewdayo editor), and died owing the IRS more than a million dollars.

“On a clear day
Rise and look around you
And you’ll see who you are
On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being
Outshines every star
You’ll feel a part of every mountain sea and shore
You can hear
From far and near
A word you’ve never, never heard before
And on a clear day
On a clear day
You can see forever
And ever
And ever
And ever more” —Alan Jay Lerner