Singer Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, whose nickname was “Iz” (pronounced “is”), was an American musician from Hawaii. He was a talented singer and ukulele player. (To see what a ukulele looks like and to hear another excellent ukulele player, look at this.) He is most famous for his 1993 medley (a collection of songs performed as one song) of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World.” This medley has been used in many movies, television programs, and commercials.

Iz was well known for his love of the land and the people of Hawaii, and is considered one of the major influences in Hawaiian music. Sadly, Iz was obese (very overweight) and at one time weighed over 750 pounds. He had several stays in the hospital and died of a breathing illness related to his weight in 1997. He was only 38 years old.

~ Lucy

Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
way up high.
And the dreams that you dreamed of
once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
blue birds fly.
And the dreams that you dreamed of
dreams really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops, thats where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to
why, oh why can’t I?

lullaby = song sung to children to help them fall asleep
lemon drop = a hard candy that tastes of lemon
chimney = the part of a house that takes smoke from a fireplace outside through the roof

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4 Responses to Singer Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole

  1. ESLPodcast Google Group says:

    Good song, He was a man with a great talent. After battles come rewards. I´m sure he is happy where he is.

  2. Oleg says:

    Oh, I know that song. I love it so much!
    I heard it first time from my favorite serial “ER”. It was 8th season, and the part was called “On the Beach”.
    Thanks Lucy!))

  3. carmen roman says:

    Oh what a relaxing song to end a very tiring day. Thanks Lucy!

  4. Igor Grivko says:

    Thank you, Lucy, it is a good song. It sounds like some sort of lullaby for me. I like it very much. But for me is better to listen only, without watching this video. I guess that video-clips kill songs’ poetry (may be it is because of my bad English).

    I am sorry about Iz’s death, he might create more beatiful songs. Unfortunately a real poet usually dies early.

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