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Film Music

Over the Rainbow from the film The Wizart of Oz (1939)

Over the Rainbow from the film The Wizart of Oz (with sheet music)

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over the rainbow sheet music pdf

Lyrics

Someplace where there isn’t any trouble…
…do you suppose there is such a place, toto?
There must be. it’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train.
It’s far, far away…
Behind the moon
Beyond the rain
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, bluebirds fly,
Birds fly over the rainbow,
Why then, oh why can’t i?
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow,
Why oh why can’t i?
Reprise cut from the movie
(Judy sang this reprise in the witch’s castle)
Someday i’ll wake and rub my eyes,
And in that land beyond the skies you’ll find me.
I’ll be a laughing daffodil
And leave the silly cares that fill
My mind behind me.
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow,
Why oh why can’t i?
When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane.
When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There’s a rainbow highway to be found,
Leading from your window pane.
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain.
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 bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t i?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow,
Why oh why can’t i?

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow” is a ballad composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Yip Harburg. It was written for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became Garland’s signature song.

About five minutes into the film, Dorothy sings the song after failing to get Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and the farmhands to listen to her story of an unpleasant incident involving her dog, Toto, and the town spinster, Miss Gulch (Margaret Hamilton). Aunt Em tells her to “find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble”. This prompts her to walk off by herself, musing to Toto, “Some place where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat, or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…”, at which point she begins singing.

Composer Harold Arlen and lyricist Yip Harburg often worked in tandem, Harburg generally suggesting an idea or title for Arlen to set to music, before Harburg contributed the lyrics. For their work together on The Wizard of Oz, Harburg claimed his inspiration was “a ballad for a little girl who… was in trouble and… wanted to get away from… Kansas. A dry, arid, colorless place. She had never seen anything colorful in her life except the rainbow”. Arlen decided the idea needed “a melody with a long broad line”.

By the time all the other songs for the film had been written, however, Arlen was feeling the pressure of not having the required song for the Kansas scene. Arlen would often carry blank pieces of music manuscript in his pockets to jot down short melodic ideas. Arlen described how the inspiration for the melody to “Over the Rainbow” came to him suddenly while his wife Anya drove:

“I said to Mrs. Arlen… ‘let’s go to Grauman’s Chinese … You drive the car, I don’t feel too well right now.’ I wasn’t thinking of work. I wasn’t consciously thinking of work, I just wanted to relax. And as we drove by Schwab’s Drug Store on Sunset I said, ‘Pull over, please.’ … And we stopped and I really don’t know why —bless the muses— and I took out my little bit of manuscript and put down what you know now as ‘Over the Rainbow.’”

The song was originally sung in A-flat major. Arlen later wrote the contrasting bridge section based on the idea of ‘a child’s piano exercise’.