Meaning of the song “Over the Rainbow”

The American feature film The Wizard of Oz, released in 1939, was nominated for six Oscars at once, but won only two categories. He won one for Best Music and the other for Best Original Song, which was Judy Garland’s (Somewhere) Over the Rainbow. Since then, a wonderful composition has become the calling card of the actress.

History and Meaning of Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow was written specifically for the film. The lyrics were written by Edgar Harburg and the music was composed by Harold Arlen. Harburg later said that the first drafts of the text were born to him when he was sitting in the car in front of the pharmacy. Dorothy, the main character in The Wizard of Oz, sings it as she dreams of escaping her boring life on a farm in Kansas.

Some also find political undertones in the words Over the Rainbow. Allegedly, Harburg expressed hope in the song that Americans could overcome the Great Depression.

Release and achievements

In October 1938, the song, performed by Judy Garland, was recorded at the MGM studio pavilion. The studio version appeared almost a year later. It was released as a single in September.

Now Over the Rainbow is called a classic ballad. She has won numerous awards and is included in a huge number of different lists of the best compositions. The American Film Institute ranked “Over the Rainbow” as the #1 Top 100 Songs Written for Movies. It also tops the Recording Association’s Songs of the Century list.

Artists Over the Rainbow

In the glorious history of the song Over the Rainbow there were a lot of covers. It was sung by performers and groups working in various genres. It will be enough to remember Eva Cassidy, Kylie Minogue and Jerry Lee Lewis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z6crFGUkIQ

An excellent version was recorded by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole, a Hawaiian musician of gigantic dimensions, who is called the “Gentle Giant”.

His version of the song Over the Rainbow has been very popular in different countries for several years. It sounds in many feature films (“Meet Joe Black”, “Fifty First Dates” and others), TV shows and commercials.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBmDg-CNFqY

Interesting Facts

  • The song was almost cut from the film, as the producers felt that this scene slowed things down too much.
  • The original version of the song, performed by Judy Garland, never entered the singles charts.
  • During World War II, the song was one of the symbols of American soldiers serving in Europe.
  • A postage stamp in memory of Edgar Harburg was issued in the United States with the first lines of the text Over the Rainbow printed on it.
  • The song is considered one of the anthems of the gay movement.

(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow Lyrics

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
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then oh why can’t I?
If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
Why oh why can’t I?

“Somewhere” Over the Rainbow Lyrics

Somewhere over the rainbow
Very high
There is a country that I once heard about in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
The skies are blue
And the dreams you dare really come true

One day I will guess by a fallen star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles disappear without a trace
Melting like smoke
That’s where you will find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Birds of happiness fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I do the same?
If happy little birds fly above the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I do the same?

Song quote

Over the Rainbow has become a part of my life. It so symbolically expresses the dreams and desires of every person that I’m sure that this explains why some people have tears in their eyes when they hear it. I have sung it thousands of times, but it is still the song closest to my heart.

Judy Garland

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