Premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland, on August 29, 1963, by Larry Adler, in his arrangement for harmonica and string quartet. The premiere of the piece in its original form was by the Julliard String Quartet on October 19, 1967, in Washington, DC.

Written by George Gershwin ca. 1919/20, during his studies with Edward Kilenyi, all that remains of this movement for a proposed string quartet is the composer’s reduced piano score. Ira Gershwin recalled that the “charming and kind” quartet was played at parties by some of his brother’s musician friends but the piece was forgotten until the early 1960s, when Ira agreed to a request from the renowned harmonica player Larry Adler to arrange Lullaby with an added part for him. Five years later, the piece was published as George intended. Subsequent arrangements have been created for full orchestra, including one by the conductor José Serebrier, as well as an extended jazz/classical dialogue by Herbie Hancock on his Grammy Award-winning recording Gershwin’s World in 1998.