PBS has a documentary currently playing, “The U.S. and the Holocaust. An eye-opening look into then AND now. Back on April 19, 2020 I wrote a blog about Dr. Ruth Gruber, From Haven to Exodus. She was an investigative reporter of the times as was Dorothy Thompson, In Search of the Fuhrer (May 10,2020), who was expelled from Germany. Both posts have much to do with today’s “Nazism.” Worth a re-read!
This post is about how the truths get lost to the ages. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which was voted the 20th century’s No. 1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts, is being retold with the origin story! It’s a favorite song at funerals as it inspires hope. It’s why I chose my “Oz” theme of hope and strong women for my posts.
Enjoy the origin of America’s favorite song.
Did you know that “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was written, not about the mythical Land of Oz, but the homeland of the Jews – Israel?
The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, the youngest of four children born to Russian-Jewish immigrants. His real name was Isidore Hochberg, and he grew up in a Yiddish-speaking, Orthodox Jewish home in New York.
The song’s music was written by Harold Arlen, also a cantor’s son. His real name was Hyman Arluck, and his parents were from Lithuania.
Together, Hochberg and Arluck wrote “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which was voted the 20th century’s No. 1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In writing it, the two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness — framed by the pogroms of the past and the #Holocaust about to happen — and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words.
“And the dreams that you dare to dream / Really do come true.”
As we approach International #HolocaustRemembranceDay and we declare #WeRemember let us honor those that dreamed of “the land that they heard once in a lullaby,” those that never saw the Promised Land, and those who rose from the ashes to make the dream a reality.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the Mythical Land of Oz
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