Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby

What a wonderful world
This would be
If the bright blessed day
And the dark sacred night
Were to be joined in one

What a wonderful world
This could be
If we only had the eyes
To see it

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version:

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dare to
Oh why, oh why can’t I?

What a wonderful world
This could be
If we only had the eyes
To see it

What a wonderful world
This could be
If we only had the love
To share it

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World

Medley by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”
Israel K Rainbow.jpg
Single by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
from the album Ka ʻAnoʻi and Facing Future
Released November 23, 1990
Recorded 1989 (K’A)
1988 (FF)
Genre
Length 5:08
Label Big Boy Records
Songwriter(s)
Music video
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” on YouTube
Audio sample

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” (also known as “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World“) is a medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World“, recorded by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. First released on the 1990 album Ka ʻAnoʻi, an acoustic rendition of the medley became notable after its release on his 1993 album Facing Future.

In 2020, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Recording history

The song was originally recorded in a spur-of-the-moment demo session in 1988. Israel called the recording studio at 3 am, and was given a 15-minute deadline to arrive by recording engineer Milan Bertosa. Bertosa recalled, “Israel was probably like 500 pounds. And the first thing at hand is to find something for him to sit on.” The building security found Israel a large steel chair. “Then I put up some microphones, do a quick sound check, roll tape, and the first thing he does is ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ He played and sang, one take, and it was over.”

At the time, copies of the acoustic recording were made only for Kamakawiwoʻole himself and Bertosa. The song was re-recorded as an “upbeat Jawaiian version” for Kamakawiwoʻole’s debut album Ka ʻAnoʻi, listed as “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.” In 1993, five years after the original recording, Bertosa played the acoustic version for producer Jon de Mello while the two were completing work on Facing Future, and de Mello decided to include it on the album as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”.

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” reached number 12 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004).

Impact in popular culture

According to the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole website, Universal Studios first became interested in using the song in the movie and on the soundtrack for Meet Joe Black after director Martin Brest became interested in it. Kamakawiwoʻole’s recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” has been used on other soundtracks as well, including the soundtracks for Finding Forrester; 50 First Dates; Fred Claus; Happy, Happy; Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School; The Healer; and IMAX: Hubble 3D. It was also featured on TV series like Charmed, ER, Scrubs, Cold Case, Glee, the UK original version of Life On Mars, and more.

Other cover versions

Other artists have recorded the medley as well. Néstor Torres recorded a jazz flute arrangement on his 1994 album Burning Whispers. Cliff Richard recorded his own version of the medley, released as a single from the 2001 album Wanted, which peaked at number 11 on the UK Official Charts in 2001.

Aselin Debison recorded the medley for her 2002 album Sweet Is the Melody. Elisabeth von Trapp included her interpretation of the medley in her album Poetic License, released in June 2004.

During season seven of American Idol, Jason Castro performed a cover of the song for his “Top 8” performance. Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson performed the song as a duet during the grand finale of season sixteen of American Idol.

In the fifth season of the NBC television show Scrubs, a cappella band The Blanks performed a rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. The rendition was later released on their album Riding The Wave.

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (2010–2011) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 4
Denmark (Tracklisten) 35
France (SNEP) 1
Germany (Official German Charts) 1
Hungary (Single Top 40) 22
Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE) 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 3
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 22

Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 28
France (SNEP) 16
Germany (Official German Charts) 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 39
Chart (2011) Position
France (SNEP) 1
Germany (Official German Charts) 37
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 16

Decade-end charts

Chart (2010–2019) Position
Germany (Official German Charts) 16

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Austria (IFPI Austria) Platinum 30,000*
Belgium (BEA) Platinum 30,000*
Germany (BVMI) 2× Platinum 600,000^
Italy (FIMI) Gold 25,000double-dagger
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) 2× Platinum 60,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA) Platinum 4,200,000

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also

References

External links

Studio albums
Compilation albums Songs Related articles


Source: Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
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🌈 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole ➖ 'Over The Rainbow' & 'What A Wonderful World' Medley ➖ 1993 🌈

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