In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!

. . . from the BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

Monday, March 23, 2009

Over the Rainbow, A Wonderful World

This morning at work, as I often do, I had my earphones on with my computer tuned to an Internet radio station, in hopes that it would keep me awake while I tried to review an insufferably boring article. The station was from Israel; today, over the Internet, you can listen to radio from anywhere on the planet. Out of the blue, they played a number sung by--fittingly, given the station's location--Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. He was a wildly popular Hawaiian musician who, tragically, passed away in 1997 at the age of 38. The song was his medley of Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World, two of the most beautiful popular songs ever written. "Iz," as he was known to his fans, sung them in a uniquely soulful way, and married the songs perfectly with his signature ukulele playing. I hadn't heard this number in over a decade, and it just sent my spirits into the stratosphere! I had hoped to find a video version on YouTube, but apparently it's not available there due to copyright issues (you can see an Iz version of "Over the Rainbow" alone, here). Fortunately, there's another version performed in a very similar and appealing style by the teenage Canadian singer Aselin Debison, which is featured below. If you could use a dash of hope and sunshine, here it is!

2 comments:

It's A Wonderful said...

Oh, my! What a beautiful death celebration! I can only imagine how much he must have enjoyed it. I've heard the opening of his rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on a TV commercial, but did not know who it was that was singing. Beautiful!

JoJo said...

My boss, who's wife is from Hawaii, bought his CD on his last trip over there and let me "borrow" it on my computer. I listen to it when I need a feel-good moment or to relax.