Thursday, April 8, 2010

Once in a lullaby

Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

I’d heard his rendition of “Over the Rainbow” before, but didn’t know that the singer was Israel Kamakawiwo’ole until we’d returned from Hawaii and a friend mentioned him. “Bruddah Iz” was a native Hawaiian with the voice of an angel. This song takes on a fresh new meaning in a land where, unlike Kansas, you see rainbows almost daily, combined with the knowledge that Kamakawiwo’ole died at the age of 38, shortly after this recording was made. Some might consider the lyrics escapist, but sung by this gentle mountain of a man, it strikes me as the sort of simple, hopeful message that’s consistent with Easter. The ukulele accompaniment is a refreshing contrast to the big orchestral backup that Judy Garland had.


Tom said...

This rendition of 'Over the Rainbow' was played at the Colorado Springs memorial service for David Hames, a Compassion International contractor who parished in the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.

Paul and Karen said...

I love his version of "Over the Rainbow." It makes what could be considered a schmaltzy song profound.

dls said...

This rendition of the song was used in the movie Finding Forrester written by local Oregon/OSU grad Mike Rich while working as the News Director and morning news DJ for KINK-FM 102 radio in Portland, Oregon. It was his entry into the movie industry and he continues to make an impact with his work. He attributes his success largely to his 5th grade teacher. He grew up and went to school through HS in Eastern Oregon.