Well-Loved Hawaiian Singer Performs Soulful Ukulele Cover Of "Over The Rainbow"

“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is one of my all-time favorite songs. Even if it’s not on the top of your list, chances are you know the song and can probably even sing the words. I can sing every single word, unfortunately just not very well. Every time I hear the familiar tune, I’m transported back in time—I’m a little girl again and I’m watching “The Wizard Of Oz” for the thousandth time.

I wish it could transport myself back to the first time I saw my favorite film, but I honestly can’t remember. All I know is that by the time I actually remember watching Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, The Wicked Witch, Glinda, and The Wizard, watching the movie had become a daily ritual.

Even now, I watch it whenever I get the chance and always sing along with my favorite song. I can feel Dorothy’s longing and the words and music never lose their meaning and emotion. The scene is perfectly fit and so beautifully played.

What you may not realize about the song is that it has been sung by many others, including Israel Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole, a Hawaiian musician. As much as I associate “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” with Dorothy, Israel brings something unique and special to the music. The strumming of the ukulele and Israel’s gentle voice transports me to another place—a warmer, happier, sunnier place.

Known throughout his career as the “Gentle Giant”, Israel was not only famous for his beautiful singing voice and expert ukelele playing, but for his Hawaiian advocacy projects. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1997 due to complications from his obesity, which included cardiac and respiratory issues. But, he will always be remembered for his soulful voice and songs that soar over the rainbow.

As you already know, Israel was a beloved to so many people. Even after his passing, he is believed to be one of the greatest singers of his time and his voice is a testament to that fact. Aside from the tune we’re sharing below, which other songs of his do you like? Feel free to list some of your favorites in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

Click on the video below to listen to this song—Israel’s voice and music deserve to be heard. Please like and share the post with family and friends!

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