Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

add to bookmarks
Prev Topic | Next Topic

(Read 1507 times)
Forum Full Member

Registered: 06/13/06
Posts: 7160
Location: N/A
Over The Rainbow
Friday, October 17 2008 @ 06:34 AM CDT

An interesting analysis of the song. Less than 10 minutes...


Forum Full Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 711
Location: London, United Kingdom
Re:Over The Rainbow
Friday, October 17 2008 @ 08:01 AM CDT

Thanks for that. Fascinating. Love that song (maybe I shouldn't admit to that!).

Must try harder
Forum Full Member

Registered: 11/13/04
Posts: 4621
Location: Somewhere In Time, USA
Re:Over The Rainbow
Friday, October 17 2008 @ 10:03 AM CDT

Over the Rainbow has always been my favorite example of songwriting. It's an amazing and enthralling piece of work by Harold Arlen, but this imaginative analysis, done with (70 years of historical) hindsight is, perhaps, a bit *over* the rainbow itself.

While Arlen was a wonderful tunesmith (some of his other works include: Stormy Weather, That Old Black Magic, It's Only a Paper Moon, I've Got the World On a String and Come Rain Or Come Shine), I have my doubts that he approached this work with as much calculation as the narrator suggests.

I rather suspect Arlen just wrote for the wistful, yearning mood of the scene --- and succeeded very well. This retrospective analysis of the tune is well-conceived, but really has more to do with the narrator's own enthusiastic response to the music than to Arlen's creative process. Still, it is an interesting interpretation of how music can inspire. Wink

MY LATEST: A demo version of my Work-In-Progress DAILY GRIND
Forum Full Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 3865
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Re:Over The Rainbow
Friday, October 17 2008 @ 10:41 AM CDT

Thanks for posting - great piece on song mechanics. One of my all time faves. Heard Flaming Lips do it live on KCRW on The Morning Becomes Eclectic a few years back. They said it was on heavy rotation on the tour bus.

it's all too much
Forum Full Member

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 523
Location: , USA
Re:Over The Rainbow
Friday, October 17 2008 @ 02:25 PM CDT

This song is one of my mom's favorites (as well as mine) so I recorded an a capella version for her a few years ago -- before I had garageband. The song has a little known introduction, which I included just for fun. I'm no Judy Garland, but if you've never heard the intro, you can hear it here:


-- Joanna
Forum Full Member

Registered: 09/09/08
Posts: 1802
Location: N/A
Re:Over The Rainbow
Friday, October 17 2008 @ 03:43 PM CDT

Just about everyone's favorite... mine too. Not very good production values on this live gig take, so turn it up a bit.

Forum Full Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 3021
Location: Austin, TX
Re:Over The Rainbow
Saturday, October 18 2008 @ 09:55 AM CDT

Quote by: J.A.Stewart
this imaginative analysis, done with (70 years of historical) hindsight is, perhaps, a bit *over* the rainbow itself.

Nah. This is elementary stuff. An analysis of Bach cantatas has all lthis sort of stuff, and more.

I think the true stroke of genius is the octave jump up followed by that gradual scale down. That is really cool. The elements in it, "circle and yearn", are fairly obvious. Diminished chords (or flat nineths) simply have that pulling, yearning quality, so if that's what the text calls for, you use that. "Away above the chimney tops": the text goes up, so the notes go up. It's a standard device used by composers for centuries. Of course it takes a *good* composer to let this coincide with a progression that goes from minor to major....

So I think it's a combination of things. Partly what's happening is tricks of the trade, partly conscious decisions by Arlen (I can just see his eyes lighting up when he find the right chord for that "above the chimney tops") and partly the analysis is indeed a bit fanciful, for instance in the bit of associating the low note with Kansas and the high one with Oz.


-- My CD.