Over the Rainbow

"Over the Rainbow" was composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Yip Harburg for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. It was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale and it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became Garland's signature song.

The song was almost cut from the film. Studio head Louis B. Mayer thought the song was too sad. Eddie Mannix, manager of the MGM studio, said song slowed the movie’s pace. Producer Mervyn LeRoy and assistant producer The associate producer, Arthur Freed, a key figure on the film’s staff, told Mayer, “’Rainbow’ stays—or I go!” “Rainbow” stayed and went on to become the film’s most popular song.

Throughout her career Judy sang this song in the key of Ab. The easiest way to play along with her video is to put a capo on the first fret and play from the Key of G version.

In order to take advantage of the the new Technicolor technology, Dorothy's slippers were changed from the book's silver color to an iridescent red hue.

The Ruby Slippers were donated to the Smithsonian museum anonymously in 1979 and were almost continuously on display until April 2017 when they underwent extensive research and conservation by a team of over a dozen experts from the National Museum of American History, the Museum Conservation Institute, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The work was funded by a successful 2016 Kickstarter with more than 6,000 backers.

The slippers return to view on October 19, 2018, in the museum’s newly renovated third floor West Wing. They are one of the most asked about artifacts at the Smithsonian. I saw the slippers before the renovation on a trip to Washington in 2012.