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Over the Rainbow, sung by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’Ole

Posted in Songs I'm Grateful For 2009 | No Comments »

Over the Rainbow, performed by Hawaiian singer Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’Ole is a great example of how a beautiful song can transcend styles. And I’m grateful for this version for so many reasons. One, because this version just makes you feel hopeful. Another reason is that it helped me spot a jerk.

I recently ended a first date with a guy who made dinner for me, not because I was asked to wash the dishes (which I did), but because he challenged my music knowledge. When this song came on while we watched “50 First Dates” with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, he swore that it was sung by Jack Johnson. When I told him that I believed that it was sung by a Pacific Islander, my date insisted that he should know simply because he had lived in California for six years (and Jack Johnson lived there too, or something like that). What geography has to do with music knowledge, I couldn’t tell you, but I had remembered seeing this video once, and the big guy singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” sure as hell wasn’t skinny Jack Johnson!

Anyway, it took all I had to refrain from daring him to go to Google. Although I was 99.99% sure that I was correct, I wasn’t prepared to swear on a stack of Bibles, while my date refused to believe that he could ever be wrong. Furthermore, his rage at being called wrong about a SONG was a bit over the top – and perhaps a bit scary.

Instead, I just ended the date, and went home. I didn’t even mind that he didn’t offer to walk me out. But as soon as possible, I confirmed that this version of “Over the Rainbow” was indeed performed by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’Ole.

When I shared this story with my girlfriends, they all jumped on the fact that this guy asked me to wash dishes on the first date. In hindsight, perhaps that was another sign of other potential difficulties, but in my mind, if he could cook the meal, then I could wash the dishes if he asked, right?

But the moment he dared to battle me on my music knowledge was the death knell for our date. If that sounds harsh, please keep in mind that Jon B was his favorite R&B singer, and his idea of jazz was Kenny G. Men who cannot enjoy musicians with entire last names should never dare to challenge me in this area. Consider yourself warned!

Over the Rainbow, sung by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’Ole

In honor of Thanksgiving, throughout November 2009 I’ll be posting blogs dedicated to some of my favorite songs. If you happen to find my website via a Google search of one of these songs, there is a very good chance that you’ll like my music too. For a free MP3 of my music, just sign up below for my newsletter, The Soulflower. Enjoy!

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