Written for the movie The Wizard of Oz and sung by actress Judy Garland, in her starring role as Dorothy Gale, “Over the Rainbow” is the ballad, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Yip Harburg that was recorded on July 28, seventy eight years ago.
The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1939 and became Garland’s signature song, as well as one of the most enduring standards of the 20th century. In addition it was #1 on the “Songs of the Century” list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. And 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“.
About five minutes into the film, Garland aka Dorothy in the The Wizard of Oz sings the song after failing to get Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and the farmhands to listen to her relate an unpleasant incident involving her dog, Toto, and the town spinster, Miss Gulch (Margaret Hamilton).