First heard in a performance by singer Vivienne Segal accompanied by George Gershwin on November 25, 1917, “There’s More to the Kiss Than the Sound” is a 100-year-old Gershwin tune that is rarely heard these days. It shows that even at age 18, George was a master at slipping in and out of key at his choosing.
In 1919 it appeared in the Broadway play “Good Morning, Judge.” I have read that George’s father, Morris Gershwin, had such a thick Russian accent that, when greeting his son George in the morning, it sounded just like “Good Morning, Judge.” Whether that was the inspiration for the show’s title, I can not verify at this time. Later that year the song appeared in Gershwin’s first Broadway show featuring strictly his own compositions, La, La, Lucille!.
The lyrics were written by Irving Caesar who met Gershwin around 1916 in New York City. Caesar is best known for hits like “Tea for Two,” “Swanee,” “Just A Gigolo,” and “I Want to Be Happy” to name a few. You can learn more about Irving Caesar at his website here.
Fake-book Style Sheet Music PDF for “There’s More to the Kiss Than the Sound”: theres-more-to-the-kiss-than-the-sound7
And here is what it sounds like:
Lyrics to “There’s More to the Kiss Than the Sound”
First Verse: I’ve often tried to realize
the reason for young lovers’ sighs.
Some girlies shy tho’ they appear,
Whene’er they kiss will act so queer.
There’s evidently something more
than the report we notice for.
Refrain: There’s more to the kiss than the x – x – x (kissing sound)
It’s merely sound that we hear.
Now have you ever seen two sweethearts when they always kiss like this x – x
But older, she gets bolder and it’s xxxxxxx (long kissing sound)
There’s more to the kiss than the x – x – x
because it’s only the sound that we hear.
Second Verse: When boy and girlie sit and kiss,
their lips should melt in joyful bliss.
To merely kiss sound is waste, for one should never kiss in haste.
But if their hearts with true love yearn, it won’t be long before they learn.