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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I would like to know if anyone has a transcription of Somewhere over the Rainbow if you do email me at [email protected]
thanks,
Birdman
 

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I've the jazz chord tabs and I know the joke if that's any help.
 

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Any particular version? Melody? Chords? Improvisations?

Braddah Iz's version is very popular over here, but he uses his own set of chords, and incorporates 'What a Wonderful World' into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the melody would be fine
-Birdman
 

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Oldie but a goodie...

My piano player (who once played for Jimmy Dorsey) and I like to pull this one on unsuspecting musical folks who tend to take the jazz idiom too seriously. It's a good one to work in whenever the subject of "Over The Rainbow" comes up.

It goes something like this:

"You know, it's not well known that Yip Yarburg encountered some serious difficulties when he wrote the famous tune from The Wizard Of Oz that we all know and love as "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".

At the time he was down and out on his luck, what with the Great Depression and all, and he was desperately looking for a hit tune that would restore his fortunes.

His opportunity came when the studio gave him a shot at the song that they thought would be made iconic by the classic film. And, while Yarburg was well schooled in the ways of Tin Pan Alley, he had hit a huge creative low point just as the big break seemed to be in his grasp.

In order to make it happen, he took the extreme step of isolating himself from all distractions to be found at the Brill Building by traveling over to Dublin and setting up shop in a garret apartment, the only furniture there being an upright piano, a cot, a table, a chair and a basin. A single light bulb dangled from the ceiling - very bleak, but an ideal environment to clear all of the distractions from his mind.

For a while, his unusual stimulative method worked. The first verse of the tune literally poured out of his pen and onto the paper:

Somewhere, over the rainbow,
Way up high;
Birds fly, over the rainbow,
Why oh why can't I?


Unfortunately, that's where his creative juices dried up. Try as he might, he could not come up with the bridge to set up the final verses.

Over and over he played the part in hand, grasping at straws for something, anything that would trigger that brief moment of inspiration that would allow him to finish the tune.

Unfortunately, his creative streak was not all that had dried up at that point. Rent, starvation rations, and paying for the necessary cigarettes had used up all but a pittance of his advance money from the studio.

Our Yip was desperate, so much so that thoughts of suicide had crept into the forefront of his mind. Too poor to afford poison or a pistol, he nonetheless was distracted by the interesting problem of figuring out a sure-fire way to put himself out of his misery.

All at once, it came to him: here he was in a top floor garret with a sixty foot drop to a busy Dublin street below. At least it would be over quickly, he mused as again he tried to puzzle out the ever elusive bridge for the tune.

Gradually, still torn between figuring out the tune and some sort of solution to his misery, he convinced himself that he might as well end it all as the bridge was never going to come to him.

Pulling open the window, he inched out onto the edge of the mansard roof. Below him, the noise from the pavement could be faintly heard. Five floors would be good enough, he decided, and there he stood, the beginning of the song running through his mind, teetering between his musical life and his impending death.

As he shuffled out on the roof edge, his actions were noticed by one of Dublin's finest, standing on the street below. Immediately sensing that he had a potential suicide on his hand, the alert policeman stepped over to a convenient call box and pulled the lever that would summon the firemen with their net, and then returned to try and delay the inevitable.

By this time, a small crowd had gathered, all of them urging Yip not to jump. The officer added his fine toned Irish tenor voice to the mix, urging Yip to think things over and not take that final step that could not be recalled.

The policeman yelled, "Shore and begorrah, me boy! Don'tcha be doin' something ye might regret!"

(I do a decent Irish brogue; it's much better when I narrate the story than when it is written out.)

Hearing the good councils of the cop, Yip decided that he would give it one more chance. Once again, he ran over the opening verse in his mind:

Somewhere, over the rainbow,
Way up high;
Birds fly, over the rainbow,
Why oh why can't I?


And then - again - nothing.

Enough is enough, thought Yarburg, as he started to screw up his courage to the point where he could make the jump.

The officer, far below, nevertheless saw the change in his body language. Desperately, he shouted: "Now son, you need to wait a while here! The boys of the fire brigade will be here any second with their net. Don't do something that ye'll be regrettin'!"

Just then, in the far distance, Yip saw the fire truck round the corner and head down the street upon which his building fronted. Too bad their trip was going to be for nothing, he thought.

One last time, the opening verse of the tune was heard, this time as Yip himself sang it:

Somewhere, over the rainbow,
Way up high;
Birds fly, over the rainbow,
Why oh why can't I?


And, still - nothing. Enough is enough, thought Yip as he tipped forward and fell towards the cobblestones below.

The crowd gasped as Yip was dropping to the pavement below, while, in the distance, the siren on the fire truck could barely be heard:

"De - de, de - de, de - de, de - de..."

Done right, you can string this out with almost any group of musical people, and the massive groans at the end are well worth the effort.
 

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That's a lot of work for the punch line - but I like it !!!
 

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My brother told me that joke with the hero as an out of work saxophonist, asked to play "Over the Rainbow" for an old folks home by his agent at 15 minutes notice. Particularly suited to this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
does anyone have the melody?
-Birdman
 

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jazzbluescat said:
I like the version they used on ER when Dr. Green died.
Oh, No!!!!! Don't tell my wife...she hasn't seen that episode yet ;)
(We buy the DVD sets, and use the subtitles to follow all the chat which goes on, which we'd otherwise miss :) Same with the Sopranos.... we can't always follow the New Joysey accents! )
 

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rogerb40uk said:
Oh, No!!!!! Don't tell my wife...she hasn't seen that episode yet ;)
(We buy the DVD sets, and use the subtitles to follow all the chat which goes on, which we'd otherwise miss :) Same with the Sopranos.... we can't always follow the New Joysey accents! )
Geez, Roger. Wow, no offense, but, I thought the entire Free World was privy to that episode by now.:shock:


Don't feel bad, I've never seen the Sopranos.:)
 

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Birdman said:
does anyone have the melody?
-Birdman
Try using your ears first. Start on middle G, then go up to high G, then F# - D -E - F# - G. That should get you started.
 

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G-dawg said:
Try using your ears first. Start on middle G, then go up to high G, then F# - D -E - F# - G. That should get you started.
Geez, dawg, I'll bet you're sitting there singing Over The Rainbow and thinking of Judy Garland skipping down a street of gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
G-dawg said:
Try using your ears first. Start on middle G, then go up to high G, then F# - D -E - F# - G. That should get you started.
I tried but I can't seem to get the part where she sings

"Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemondrops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me""

also I'm playing in the key of C major
-Birdman
 

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Birdman said:
I tried but I can't seem to get the part where she sings

"Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemondrops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me""

also I'm playing in the key of C major
-Birdman
That sounds like the bridge.
 

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Birdman,
I have a great transcription 0f Sonny Stitts (or it could be Turrentine?) of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". It was transcribed from the album "Soul Electricity". Key of B flat major. Three pages long. The end of the third page has the chord changes as well. I was just practicing it last night. I can make a copy and send it to you snail mail. (Don't know any other way to send it to you). PM me here with your address.
Candy
 
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