Everyone knows this song. “Over the Rainbow” was written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg for Wizard of Oz.
It was sung by Judy Garland about 5 minutes into the movie. The song is now known as her signature song.
It was released in 1939, obviously, the same year as the movie.
The song is number one of the “Songs of the Century” list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. The American Film Institute also ranked “Over the Rainbow” the greatest movie song of all time on the list of “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs”.
It was adopted (along with Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”) by American troops in Europe in World War II as a symbol of the United States—in fact, Garland even performed the song for American troops as part of a 1943 command performance.
In April 2005, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp recognizing lyricist Yip Harburg’s accomplishments. The stamp pictures the opening lyric from “Over the Rainbow”.