Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true
"Over the Rainbow" (often referred to as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow") is a classic ballad song with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg. It was written for the movie The Wizard of Oz, and it became Judy Garland's signature song.
The song's plaintive melody and simple lyrics depict a pre-adolescent girl's desire to escape from the "hopeless jumble" of this world, from the sadness of raindrops to the bright new world "over the rainbow." It expresses the childlike faith that a door will magically open to a place where "troubles melt like lemon-drops."
The song is so popular that it tops the "Songs of the Century" list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. It also topped the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Songs" list.
Along with Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the song was adopted by the American troops in Europe in World War II as a symbol of the United States, the faraway land that, after long years of war, seemed like a dream beyond the rainbow.
The song has come to epitomize the gesture of the rising octave, which makes its opening so distinctive.