Judy Garland sings “Look for the Silver Lining” (music by Jerome Kern, lyric by Buddy DaSylva, 1920) in the star-studded bio-pic of Kern, Till the Clouds Roll By (1946.) The film features lavish renditions of famous songs from his musicals, performed by MGM’s stable of musical stars of the time.
“Look for the Silver Lining” is from the 1920 hit musical Sally, with a book by Guy Bolton and staged by Florenz Ziegfeld, starring Marilyn Miller (Garland portrayed Marilyn Miller in Till the Clouds Roll By).
In the 1970s, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union approached the Jerome Kern Estate to ask permission to license that song to use as their theme song, with a few modifications. The estate refused, saying they wouldn’t let Kern’s music be used for that kind of commerce. So, the ILGWU went out and hired a composer to write a sound alike song that had just enough different notes that they wouldn’t be sued, thus giving us the unforgettable “Look for the Union Label.”