Start by watching the video on You Tube. (After the short commercial). Beautiful no? But this is not my favorite version of this amazing song. That would belong to the inimitable Judy Garland. But Keith Jarrett brings such sincerity to it that it is one I’m listening to upon learning of it from a blog I receive daily named, “The Immortal Jukebox”. Check it out.
I might not have entered this on to my site had I also not read the extraordinary piece written by Mr. Salman Rushdie reissued in the New Yorker Magazine titled, “Out of Kansas”. I quote, “What she (Judy Garland) expresses here, what she embodies with the purity of an archetype, is the human dream of leaving—a dream at least as powerful as its countervailing dream of roots. At the heart of “The Wizard of Oz” is a great tension between these two dreams; but, as the music swells and that big, clean voice flies into the anguished longings of the song, can anyone doubt which message is the stronger? In its most potent emotional moment, this is inarguably a film about the joys of going away, of leaving the grayness and entering the color, of making a new life in the “place where you won’t get into any trouble.” “Over the Rainbow” is, or ought to be, the anthem of all the world’s migrants, all those who go in search of the place where “the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” It is a celebration of Escape, a grand paean to the Uprooted Self, a hymn—the hymn—to Elsewhere.”
If you are a New Yorker subscriber (or wish to be) go look for that article in full. It is the best writing I’ve ever found on just about any film. Now I will have to listen to Judy’s version of ‘Over the Rainbow’ too.