It was written for the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, and was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. It soon became her signature song, and one of the most enduring standards of the 20th century. About five minutes into the film, Dorothy sings the song after failing to get her aunt and uncle to listen to her relate an unpleasant incident involving her dog, Toto, and the town spinster, Miss Gulch. Dorothy's Aunt Em tells her to "find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble." This prompts Dorothy to walk off by herself, musing to Toto, "'Some place where there isn't any trouble.' Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat, or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain..." at which point she begins singing.
When all the world is a hopeless jumble And the raindrops tumble all around Heaven opens a magic lane When all the clouds darken up the skyway There's a rainbow highway to be found Leading from your windowpane To a place behind the sun Just a step beyond the rain
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby. Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star and Wake up where the clouds are far behind me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops, Away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me.
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh, why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why oh! why can't I?