Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Michael Lasser's American Music
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning
Lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg hated to come out and say “I love you.” He preferred indirection, irreverence and wordplay, even though he was usually writing about love. He had a reformer’s passion, a lover’s heart and a permanently arched eyebrow.
He wrote the words to Brother, Can You Spare a Dime, Over the Rainbow, and Paper Moon, but he also wrote:
To let a fool kiss you is stupid,
To let a kiss fool you is worse.
The idea was to make a lyric both fresh and familiar at the same time. Yip belonged to a generation of great songwriters who learned to combine wit and sentiment in single songs to help create the Great American Songbook.
This presentation is part of Michael Lasser's American Music lecture series.