A Tiny Thing, But It Drives Me Crazy

The song is called ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’.

This is what Yip Harburg wrote:

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high.
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.

This is what Eva Cassidy sang:

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,
in the land that I heard of once in a lullaby, …

Two tiny words, two tiny stinkin’ words, and what it does to that opening line. Where’s the verb? In the land that I heard of … what? They have a repressive tax system? I own several properties?  What?

Careful lyricists have pages of crossed out ifs, ands and buts: tiny, tiny words that they struggle to put in just the right place. Harburg would never have allowed a grammatical blunder like that to get through. And he would never have started a long note with a pinched word like ‘in’. All the other lyricists from the Lower East Side would have mocked him terribly.

Sadly, because Eva Cassidy was a saint, an angel, a perfect, special force in the cosmos etc., now dozens of other younger singers sing the song in exactly the same wrong way.

You probably think it’s a tiny thing, and I should not let it drive me crazy. But someone should have had a quiet word with Eva, before she became a saint.

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5 thoughts on “A Tiny Thing, But It Drives Me Crazy

    • I love sentences that start with ‘And’. And I love two songs that start with ‘And’, both on Don McLean’s debut album – ‘And I Love You So’ and ‘Castles In The Air’. And I wrote a song that starts with ‘And’:

  1. You ^%$#@!@ !@#$%^!!!!!

    Not only did you do “and” before me, but you also play guitar better than I ever will!!! And harmonica with it!!!

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