Gershwin’s first Broadway show featuring his music alone, La La Lucille!, had this rather somber song which goes against the typically-optimistic Broadway showtune sentiment. It therefore doesn’t feature as many musical flourishes as most other Gershwin songs of the time.
The lyrics are by Arthur J. Jackson and Buddy DeSylva. I was very tempted to update their lyrics by changing “Whist!” to “Whoosh!” I have never heard “Whist!” used as a sound effect, though how we make sound effects can certainly change over the last 100 years since this song was written.
Download fake-book style sheet music for “Somehow It Seldom Comes True” here: Somehow It Seldom Comes True
Lyrics to “Somehow It Seldom Comes True” by Arthur J. Jackson and Buddy DeSylva
Don’t be downcast, poor little boy, when the world goes wrong.
Something always comes to destroy things we have planned so long.
And though your dreams may seem to be real, still it’s just a dream.
I’ve built castles too, just the same as you.
But sometimes our dreaming is all in vain,
and life goes along just the same.
The world seems so sunny ’til fate comes and then
Whist! go the best plans of mice and of men.
Our visions of gladness we keep in view, but somehow they seldom come true.