Career Calling

December 27, 2011

Yip Harburg: Blacklists & Rainbows

Democracy Now has produced a powerful tribute to the lyricist Yip HarburgHarburg honestly captured the spirit of the Great Depression in “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.”  He went on to write lyrics for stage shows/films that included “The Wizard of Oz” and “Finian’s Rainbow.”  After WWII, Harburg was an early victim of Senator Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt.  Blacklisted, he could not work on a film project until the 1960s. 

Harburg believed in telling the truth, especially about the struggles of working people.  What I like most about this film tribute to Harburg was its display of his courage and strength, his faith in a better world – somewhere over the rainbow.

One of my favorite jazz singers Kurt Elling recorded Harburg’s “April in Paris.”  Check  out this video to see how Harburg’s words sing on.

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