Hamburg & Arlen


Yesterday afternoon I went outside to get something from my car; and it was raining. Now, the interesting part was that while it rained, the sun was shining!


It didn’t last long, maybe a minute. The clouds quickly closed, it thundered, and then the rain came in torrents. But for a minute, it was sunny and rainy. At the same time.

It got me to thinking about rain songs. Here are some famous ones:

“Dancing In The Rain”-Gene Kelley
“Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head”-B.J. Thomas
“Fire And Rain”-James Taylor
“Have You Ever Seen The Rain”-Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Rainbow Connection”-Kermit the Frog
“I Made It Through The Rain”-Barry Manilow
“It Never Rains In California”-Albert Hammond
“Five Feet High And Rising”-Johnny Cash


Perhaps the most famous rain-song of all is “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” It was voted the 20th century’s #1 song by the Recording Industry of American and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Most of us know it as the iconic song performed by Judy Garland in, “The Wizard of Oz.” It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1939.

The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg, the youngest of four children born to Russian-Jewish immigrants. His real name was Isidore Hochberg, and he grew up in a Yiddish-speaking Orthodox home in New York.

Yip Harburg

The song’s music was written by Harold Arlen, a cantor’s son. His real name was Hyman Arluck, and was born to Jewish parents in Lithuania.

Harold Arlen

Hamburg and Arlen, from families who immigrated to America from Russia and Lithuania, seeking a better life and, like all parents, hoping for a better future for their children.


I was inspired by the sunshine and the rain. It got me to thinking about rain songs, and specifically about Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Like the Hochbergs and Arlucks, my parents wanted more for me. Their lives weren’t harsh or particularly hard, they just hoped I would do more, that I would have more, and that I would rise higher. Did I?


I don’t write songs. I’m not famous. I won’t likely receive any grand awards for my achievements, few as they may be. But have I lived up to my parent’s hopes?

I guess that’s for me to determine, as it is for you.

Today is a good day to go out and be awesome. How about it? You just might see the sunshine and the rain.

God Bless You!

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