I have a little cabinet letter file on my desk that is just in front of me. I was thinking and wondering about a title for the story, and had settled on the "Wizard" as part of it. My gaze was caught by the gilt letters on the three drawers of the cabinet. The first was A-G; the next drawer was labelled H-N; and on the last were the letters O-Z. And "Oz" it at once became.
—L. Frank Baum
Charity dropped Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow into the comments under my birthday post. (Thanks Charity; and, indeed, everybody who commented.) It reminded me I've been meaning to do this for a while—and since I seem to be having trouble writing anything of substance this week, I may as well do it now.
Here's a thing. It's not a huge thing, but it's a thing. For all that my taste in music tends to run to the loud, the up-tempo and the raucous, if I had to pick three favourite songs based on whether hearing a new version nearly always leads to me stopping whatever I'm doing to listen, those songs would undoubtedly be Summertime, Sweet Georgia Brown and Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Just don't ask me why; 'cause I have no idea. None of them fit my usual taste.
So, anyway, let's take a trip across the rainbow, to a land named after a filing cabinet.
Of course, the first problem I have to face is that there are so many versions out there, of this song, so—because I have to winnow my choices down somehow—I'm going to stick to versions I actually own. That merely makes it difficult, rather than almost impossible, to choose the six I'm going to post. So, okay, stop and think, Daz; which ones do you tend to reach for most often when you get the yen to play it?
After some thought, here's my own personal-to-me, best-versions-I-actually-own, available-on-You-Tube, favourite covers of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. (Though none of 'em, needless to say, beat the original.)
I saved my favouritest cover-version 'til last…
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