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Thursday, March 20, 2014

33 of 1001 Songs: Judy Garland's Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow is perhaps the most recognizable song of all time no matter what age you are. Judy Garland would sing the song in 1939. As I was listening it was easy to see why this song has had such long standing appeal. It has this very hopeful vibe to the tune that stays throughout. The singer seems to be a serious situation hoping for a positive change. It's a realist song with a positive edge.

History: This song would be an Academy Award winning tune performed by Judy Garland. Before albums, songs were released as singles, so songs made for movies seemed to have the potential to garner a lot more individual attention. This song was specifically written for the movie, The Wizard of Oz. The song has spawned many covers, some that became quit popular for the artist who covered it.


Vocals: I think the lovely aspect of the song is how mature the song sounds. It has lyrics that sound like they are for a more adult person to sing, with even a mature backing instrumental to give it power. Garland's voicing is what makes it more accessible to all age groups. When she recorded this in the 30's she was younger and the youthful vibe of her voice makes this song more appealing to all age groups. Whether you're a kid who is feeling alone, or not like they are understood to an adult who is feeling under appreciated, or just hopeless in a job, this song has a wide range of appeal in relating to how people feel in a given moment. Garland's voice ranges from sounding somber to almost dreamy.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals sound very classical and true to what you would hear in the 30's. Somehow though this song has managed to translate into a timeless sound. The orchestra arrangement sounds like something out of a Disney movie, and I think since most people will grow up hearing this song and ones like it they will associate it with more so a timeless childhood tale than anything.

Lyrics: The lyrics are perhaps the best bit, at least for me, regarding the song. It has a lot of dreamy imagery, for example the rainbow, that makes the song have a whimsical and carefree vibe.  For me I mostly heard the song growing up, so instead it made me think of all the things I want to be when I'm adult as a child. To be honest, I don't know that I would go back and listen to this song as an adult though. It's more of a nostalgia thing with me.

The song is a beautifully written song, and with the simple yet serious toned message it's no wonder it's had the long term appeal that it has had. Garland also has a very lovely voice. To be honest though the song got better as she got older and her voice sounded more like a woman though. For many the song will be best heard when you're viewing the movie The Wizard of Oz.

Rating 7.5 of 10.


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