This Wizard of Oz classic has been covered by many artists over the years. My personal favorite is from Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, in the movie 50 First Dates. He combined it with Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World. A perfect match. However, the best version by far is the original, sung by Miss Judy Garland. Even as a kid, that tune always brought a lump to my throat. If you saw the movie Judy, you know her life was no picnic. There is a tearjerker of a scene involving that song in the film. No spoilers here.
It also has a very special meaning in our family. My son Jeffrey was a Wiz Fan from his early years. When my sons were little, The Wizard was played on a heavy rotation in our house. One year, there was a musical book for the Wizard of Oz on Jeff’s Christmas List. As I have mentioned before, I am the family photographer. I have some priceless video of Jeff unwrapping the book from my sister Cyndy and screaming, “It’s the Dorothy book!” at the top of his tiny lungs.
One of my favorite pictures is of my Mom and Jeff reading a book together, back when he was still in pull-ups. After that Christmas, the Dorothy book went with us whenever we visited my Mom and Dad. Jeff and Mom would sit down and read it religiously. Unfortunately, we lost Mom way too early, at the age of 56. So, whenever I hear Over the Rainbow, I immediately think about Mom and Jeff sitting together, reading the Dorothy book. I’m instantly reduced to tears. There I go again.
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true
— Miss you, Mom.
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