Monday, February 20, 2017

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Judy Garland
Over the Rainbow (commonly referred to as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) was named the greatest movie song of all time on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Songs” list. The Academy Award-winning ballad was written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg for the movie The Wizard of Oz (1939) and was sung by the character of Dorothy, portrayed by 16 year-old actress and singer Judy Garland.

Garland sang Over the Rainbow on stage for decades after the movie was released. In a letter to Arlen, who composed the melody, she wrote, “Over the Rainbow has become…so symbolic of everybody’s dreams and wishes that I’m sure that’s why some people get tears in their eyes when they hear it. I’ve sung it thousands of times and it’s still the song that’s closest to my heart.”

Judy Garland and songwriters
In some sense like Dorothy, I had big dreams and ambitions that extended far beyond the house and neighborhood where I grew up, and so Over the Rainbow became one of my favorite songs. When I was Garland’s age of 16, I converted the melody into a waltz and performed it at fiddle contests around the country. I also recorded it on my album Soppin’ the Gravy (1978). The version of the tune in this book is exactly like the one I came up with as a teenager. I dedicate this to all young folks who dream of flying like a bluebird over the rainbow one day!

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
Birds fly, over the rainbow
Oh why, oh why can't I?

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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