How Long Has This Been Going On: Unraveling the Meaning Behind Timeless Lyrics in English

Lyrics to “How Long Has This Been Going On”

An In-Depth Analysis of the Song’s Meaning and Impact

Greetings! Welcome to this comprehensive article that delves into the intriguing lyrics of the timeless song, “How Long Has This Been Going On.” This iconic tune has captivated audiences for decades, and we are here to explore its significance, strengths, weaknesses, and answer some frequently asked questions along the way. So, let’s dive in and uncover the beauty behind the lyrics!

Introduction: Unveiling the Essence of the Song

The song “How Long Has This Been Going On” was written by the legendary duo, George and Ira Gershwin, and was first introduced to the world in 1928. With its soulful melody and heartfelt lyrics, it quickly became a sensation, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. This romantic ballad narrates the story of a person who discovers an unexpected love and grapples with the uncertainty of its duration.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the protagonist’s emotions, showcasing their vulnerability and longing for clarity. This emotional intensity resonates with listeners, allowing them to connect with the song on a profound level. “How Long Has This Been Going On” has since been covered by numerous artists, solidifying its place in the Great American Songbook and ensuring its enduring popularity.

Now, let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of these compelling lyrics to gain a deeper understanding of their impact.

Strengths of the Lyrics

1️⃣ Emotional Depth: The lyrics of “How Long Has This Been Going On” evoke a wide range of emotions, from the initial discovery of love to the yearning for certainty. This emotional depth allows listeners to connect with the song on a personal level, making it relatable and memorable.

2️⃣ Poetic Language: George and Ira Gershwin’s masterful use of poetic language adds elegance and sophistication to the lyrics. The carefully crafted metaphors and imagery create a captivating narrative, enhancing the overall beauty of the song.

3️⃣ Timeless Theme: The theme of uncertainty in love is timeless and resonates with audiences across generations. The lyrics explore the universal experience of questioning the longevity of a newfound love, making it a relatable and enduring subject matter.

4️⃣ Melodic Flow: The lyrics seamlessly intertwine with the melody, creating a harmonious and captivating musical experience. This synergy between the words and music enhances the overall impact of the song, leaving a lasting impression on the listeners.

5️⃣ Artistic Collaboration: The collaboration between George and Ira Gershwin is a testament to their artistic genius. The lyrics perfectly complement the melody, showcasing the seamless partnership between the two brothers and their ability to create musical magic.

6️⃣ Cultural Significance: “How Long Has This Been Going On” has become a cultural touchstone, representing an era of jazz and romance. Its inclusion in various films, theater productions, and covers by renowned artists has solidified its significance in popular culture.

7️⃣ Musical Legacy: The enduring popularity of “How Long Has This Been Going On” is a testament to its musical legacy. Its ability to transcend time and resonate with audiences throughout the years is a true testament to the brilliance of the lyrics.

Weaknesses of the Lyrics

1️⃣ Lack of Clarity: The lyrics, intentionally or not, leave some aspects open to interpretation. While this ambiguity can be seen as a strength, it may also lead to confusion and hinder a complete understanding of the protagonist’s emotions.

2️⃣ Repetitive Phrases: Some phrases in the lyrics, although emotionally charged, are repeated throughout the song. While this repetition can contribute to the song’s overall impact, it may also be perceived as monotonous by some listeners.

3️⃣ Limited Perspective: The lyrics primarily focus on the protagonist’s emotions, offering little insight into the other characters or the broader context of the story. This limited perspective may leave some listeners craving a more comprehensive narrative.

4️⃣ Lack of Resolution: The lyrics intentionally leave the question of the relationship’s duration unanswered, mirroring the uncertainty of the protagonist. While this ambiguity adds depth to the song, it may also frustrate listeners seeking closure.

5️⃣ Gender-Specific Language: The lyrics use gender-specific language, referring to the protagonist as “he” or “she.” This may limit the song’s relatability for listeners who do not identify with the gendered language used in the lyrics.

6️⃣ Limited Cultural Diversity: The lyrics, rooted in a specific cultural context, may not resonate equally with audiences from diverse backgrounds. The song’s universality may be hindered by its specific cultural references.

7️⃣ Lack of Contemporary Relevance: While “How Long Has This Been Going On” remains a classic, its themes and language may not fully align with modern sensibilities. This may limit its appeal to younger audiences who prefer more contemporary music.

The Lyrics in Detail: A Complete Table

1How long has this been going on?
2What a kick I get out of you
3Although your family is frightfully rich
4You’re a Broadway star
5If you could see
6I know you well
7For I have seen your painted lips
8Smile, smile, smile
9That’s been going on all the while

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the origin of “How Long Has This Been Going On”?

The song was written by George and Ira Gershwin and was first introduced in 1928.

2. Who has covered “How Long Has This Been Going On”?

Over the years, the song has been covered by numerous artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Sting.

13. How can I experience the full impact of the song’s lyrics?

To fully appreciate the beauty of “How Long Has This Been Going On,” listen to different interpretations, read the lyrics while listening, and allow yourself to connect emotionally with the song.

Conclusion: Embrace the Timeless Magic of “How Long Has This Been Going On”

As we conclude our exploration of the lyrics to “How Long Has This Been Going On,” we invite you to immerse yourself in the timeless magic of this iconic song. Its emotional depth, poetic language, and universal theme continue to captivate listeners across generations.

Despite its weaknesses, the song’s strengths far outweigh any limitations, making it a true gem in the music world. So, take a moment to indulge in the beauty of “How Long Has This Been Going On” and let it transport you to a world of love, longing, and uncertainty.

Remember, the power of music lies in its ability to evoke emotions and create connections. So, embrace the magic and allow “How Long Has This Been Going On” to leave an everlasting imprint on your heart.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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