30 Day Song Challenge – Day 14

Posted: June 24, 2011 in Meme, Music, Personal

Day 14 – A Song That No One Would Expect You To Love – Israël Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

This song may come as a surprise to some, and to others, they may scratch their heads and wonder who Israël is. I have heard this song played on various TV shows, usually at the happy ending, when someone find a long-lost love etc, but I never knew who did this version. After a bit of google work, I discovered “Israël Kamakawiwo’ole”.

Israël Kamakawiwo’ole was a larger than life Hawaiian man, who became successful as a ukulele player, gifted with a simply wonderful voice. Unfortunately, due to his enormous size, Israël died on June 26, 1997, aged 35. He died due to weight related respiratory failure. He weighed in at 343kg, and was 6’2″ tall. His music however, will live on as his legacy.

This particular song is his most well-known, although there are a few albums of stuff out there. From the “Facing Forward” album, it is a medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” made famous by the movie “Wizard of Oz” where Judy Garland performs it, and also “What A Wonderful World” made famous by Louis Armstrong.

Israël Kamakawiwo’ole has combined the two, using the same chords on his ukulele, and made a beautiful version, that always puts a smile on my face when I hear it. His voice conveys the emotion of both of these songs, and ties them together, creating this simple and effective tune. I have linked to both versions, the original without “Wonderful World” in it, and the Mixed version, with both songs included.

Original Version

Mixed Version

Israël Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World

OK this one’s for Gabby
Ooooo oooooo ohoohohoo
Ooooo ohooohoo oooohoo
Ooooo ohoohooo oohoooo
Oohooo oohoooho ooooho
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby ii ii iii
Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh ooooh
Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me ee ee eeh
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops thats where you’ll find me oh
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to,why, oh why can’t I? i iiii

Well I see trees of green and
Red roses too,
I’ll watch them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Well I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white
And the brightness of day
I like the dark and I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people passing by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying, I…I love you
I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,
They’ll learn much more
Than we’ll know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world (w)oohoorld

Someday I’ll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top that’s where you’ll find me
Oh, Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can’t I? I hiii ?

Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo

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