“Over the Rainbow” performed by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (1993)

10 07 2009

There’s just something about Hawai’i that’s magical. And I’m not just talking about the stunning landscape and pristine beaches. I’m talking about the lifestyle, the laid-back refusal to take part in the rat race. There is a reverence and respect for the land, and a great appreciation of music and expression.

Mr. Kamakawiwo’ole has a beautiful, gentle voice that floats over the strumming of his ukulele, reducing songs to an almost primal state of purity. Sadly, he passed away, but not without touching millions of people with his music, especially this track, which gained some well-deserved notoriety.

“Over the Rainbow” was Judy Garland’s signature tune from “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s a powerful song about hope and better days ahead. Not surprisingly, this song became something of an anthem for soldiers fighting overseas in World War II, a little piece of sanity for them to hold onto inside the madness of war. It’s an important song. Mr. Kamakawiwo’ole also adds a bit of “What a Wonderful World,” another important song which I’ll probably post for you very soon.

(Thanks to xTacoBellxx for the nice upload of this track to YouTube)

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