She would have been 92 years old today. The theatrical songbird’s fairytale princess voice and classic beauty made her an icon for many an aspiring singer and actress. Yet Garland’s legacy – like that of so many child film stars – is bittersweet.
Her biographers have written, “Despite her professional triumphs, Garland struggled immensely in her personal life, starting when she was a child. Her self-image was strongly influenced by film executives, who said she was unattractive and constantly manipulated her onscreen physical appearance.”
Judy was divorced four times, battled drug and alcohol addiction, and she died of an accidental overdose when she was only 47.
With a desire to recognize the sadness, and also pay tribute to Judy, I have arranged Somewhere Over The Rainbow in a minor key. If you read the lyrics, the sorrow in them almost makes the original major melody seem ironic. “Birds fly over the rainbow; why, oh why, can’t I?”
So here it is – Somewhere Over The Rainbow – in memory of Judy Garland, in recognition of the depression and sexism she suffered, and in celebration of her incredible talent.
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, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I?
If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?