Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Many feel the song epitomizes the hopes and dreams of youthful aspiration for an ideal world of love and joy. The song was especially written to showcase Judy Garland's talents in the star vehicle The Wizard of Oz, and she was forever after called upon to sing it in all her public appearances.
Its plaintive melody and simple lyrics depict a pre-adolescent girl's desire for an escape from the "hopeless jumble" of this world, from the sadness of raindrops to the bright new world "over the rainbow". It expresses the childlike faith that "Heaven" will magically "open a door" to a place where "troubles melt like lemon-drops".
The song tops the "Songs of the Century" list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Modern listeners may be unaware that the song had an introductory stanza, as this was cut from the movie version.
Hundreds of singers have recorded their own versions of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". One of the most notable was recorded by the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole whose medley of "Rainbow" and Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" was featured on the soundtrack of the film Meet Joe Black.
- lyrics at Warner Brothers website
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