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"It Ain't Necessarily So" is a popular song with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. The song comes from the Gershwins' opera Porgy and Bess (1935) where it is sung by the character Sportin' Life, a drug dealer, who expresses his doubt about several statements in the Bible.
The role of Sportin' Life was created by John W. Bubbles. Other notable incarnations of the character include Cab Calloway on stage and Sammy Davis, Jr. in the 1959 film.
In the song, the melody for the words "It ain't necessarily so" resembles the melody for the words "Bar'chu et adonai ham'vorach", at the beginning of the aliyah blessing before reading from the Torah.
The song has been covered a number of times during the Rock era. It was included as an album track by The Honeycombs on their debut-album, The Honeycombs (album) in 1964. Released as a single the song was a major Australian hit in 1965 for singer Normie Rowe,reaching number 5 on the Australian singles charts at that time. Also in 1965 The Moody Blues covered the song for their album, The Magnificent Moodies. The Moody Blues' version is notable for the fact that it was their first recording with band member Ray Thomas singing the lead vocals. In 1984 the song was released as a single by UK band Bronski Beat with Jimmy Somerville being the lead vocalist. Reaching number 16 on the UK singles charts the song was taken from Bronski Beat's debut-album, The Age of Consent.
Cher in 1994, and Jamie Cullum in 2002, although most notably sung by Aretha Franklin and Bobby Darin on his 1959 album That's All. Aretha also recorded it for her album "Aretha (with the Ray Bryant Combo)". Sting also recorded a version of it. Brian Wilson covered this song in his 2010 Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin album. Hugh Laurie covered it on his 2011 album Let Them Talk.
It Ain't Necessarily So is also the title of the autobiography of the American musician Larry Adler.
It Ain't Necessarily So is also the title of a philosophical paper on modality by Hilary Putnam.