The classic song you never knew was inspired by Israel

by Michael Sax

Somewhere Over The Rainbow is one of the most recognized songs in American history. Most people don’t know the hidden background to the song. Get the full story here!

Over The Rainbow

“Over the rainbow” was published in 1939 for the famous movie, The Wizard Of Oz. Harold Arlen composed it and Yip Harburg wrote the lyrics for it. But was the song simply written for the film? Or were there other factors behind it? A look into the song’s creators will shed light on the topic.

Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen is considered one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, writing over 400 songs, many of which became world renowned. However, what many people don’t know is that he was born to a Jewish family.

Yip Harburg

Yip was born in 1896 to a Jewish Orthodox family in New York. His parents had immigrated to the United States from Russia. Yet he never forgot his roots.

Yip attended Townsend Harris High School. After World War I, Yip returned to New York and graduated from City College in 1921.

Wizard of Oz

Yip and Harold created the song for the movie, The Wizard of Oz. The Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts rank the song number one on the “Songs of the Century” list. The American Film Institute also ranked the song the greatest movie song of all time on the list of “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs”.

Is there a hidden meaning to the song? Or is it rather simply made for the film? Some people claim that the song expresses dreams of freedom, while others say it shows the desire to escape Russia and cross the “rainbow” to America. Yet others say that the over the ‘rainbow’ is towards Israel. As proof of these claims, they point to Yip’s Russian parents. Furthermore, people note that Yip and Harold are Jewish. Yet, there is no conclusive evidence of this. However, Yip once said in an interview, “I’m a guy not just trying to write a song,” he says. “I want it to mean something.”

The Source

The Portnoy Brothers were inspired to produce this Israel 70 video clip by the Israel Forever Foundation. They saw an article written by the Israel Forever Foundation on the connection between Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Zion.

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