‘Over The Rainbow’; the desire for a better world

When Eva Cassidy was a child her favorite film was The Wizard Of Oz, which was broadcast at least once a year. Each time it was announced in the TV Guide the Cassidy children worked themselves into a state of excitement that lasted for several days. The film, made in 1937, had an incomparable effect on all of the children, but especially Eva, who was transported by the fantasy and atmosphere of the story. She was ten years old when she first heard Judy Garland sing ‘Over The Rainbow’, and it touched her deeply. The expression of craving for a better world took on almost religious proportions within Eva Cassidy.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland

Even now, eighty years after filming Judy Garland’s performance is still magical. As Dorothy, Garland walks into a farmyard that evokes of the Garden of Eden; a chicken runs freely and there is no sign of anyone else as she begins to sing. Her black plaits hang around her face, giving her an innocent, girlish appearance. Dorothy’s dog, Toto, scurries towards her and the scene culminates with the dog presenting its paw to the ecstatically singing girl. It’s a touching sight: nothing can beat an animal’s loyalty.

Eva Cassidy solo

Eva Cassidy solo

‘Over The Rainbow’ is about the desire for a better world. It represents a life without fear or pain, which is reflected in those famous lyrics that express a universal longing to leave all misery behind and arrive at an imaginary fairyland, where skies are always blue and where dreams, however unrealistic, come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star

And wake up where the clouds are far behind me

Where troubles melt like lemon drops

Away above the chimney tops

That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow

Skies are blue

And the dreams that you dare to dream

Really do come true.

‘Over The Rainbow’ would bring Eva Cassidy world fame. Her stunning rendition moved people just as Eva had been moved by Judy Garland’s singing. All problems melt away in the beautiful land at the end of the rainbow. You’d almost forget the notion that a rainbow only exists at the mercy of a solid rain shower.

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