You’ve probably heard “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at minimum once. It’s a timeless song that is extremely popular. It was first performed by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. She sang it for many years. Renata Scotto used it as her signature encore. Ariana Grande even performed it at her One Love Manchester benefit concert. The sad origin of the song is what makes the song so popular.
This timeless classic was written by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and was released on November 1, 1993. Despite its timeless appeal, there have been many versions of the song. In 1960, the Demensions released a cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Another cover was released in 1993 by Hawaiian singer Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole, featuring ukelele. While Kamakawiwo’ole died in 1997, his song continued to climb the charts and reached the number eight spot on the UK’s Singles Chart in 2010. This version also rose to the number eleven spot on the Billboard Digital Songs chart in 2008.
Arlen had the task of convincing the MGM executives that Over the Rainbow was approved after it was recorded. The executives tried to cut the song three times because they thought it slowed down the movie, but Arthur Freed leveraged his influence with Louis B. Mayer to win the rights for the song. Over the Rainbow became a huge hit and the song was a timeless classic.
“Over the Rainbow” was a huge hit and became Garland’s signature tune. It has been covered by hundreds of artists over the years. A quick Billboard search will show hundreds of versions of the song, and new groups have attempted the song at least once in every decade. It’s an emotional, powerful song that has been embraced by audiences for decades. There are even versions of the song that were recorded at the star’s bedside.
The original title of the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, was “Over the Rainbow.” Judy Garland performed it in the 1939 film Wizard of Oz. Harold Arlen, who composed the music, based the song in NYC. The song was a reflection of the American attitude and the hopelessness of the 1930s. The song also appealed to the American spirit. Many people associate it with the pre-1939 world and the holocaust.
Over the Rainbow is deeply rooted in American literature, history, and music. The story was written before the publication of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The story is still being retold in musicals, books, movies, and other media. It was a classic film that won many Academy Awards. It continues to inspire new generations of performers. In addition, the music and lyrics of Over the Rainbow are timeless. Listen to the movie and enjoy it for many years.