Somewhere over the Rainbow

If you’ve never heard Iz (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole) sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, then you’re in for a treat.  If you have heard Iz sing, then you know exactly what I mean.  His voice was so pure and the ukulele sound with it is divine.  I hope you will enjoy this video with scenes of Iz and Hawaii. 


Video credit to yokohama26

  1. That is the ONLY version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” that I actually like. In fact, I love it! It should be the official version of that song from here on out 🙂

  2. Wow what a talent! Now he’s singing with the Angels. You can tell through his voice that he loved life and people very much. I’m gonna find this CD on Ebay right now. Thanks for sharing this Sheila.

  3. Years ago, before we moved to the Big Island, we used to go regularly to a place called The Ranch House in Aina Haina on Oahu to listen to the original Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau play and sing their music. At that time — at least 20 years ago — Israel’s brother Skippy was still alive and a part of the group.

    Skippy died quite awhile ago, Israel more recently, and the Makaha Sons are still one of the best Hawaiian music groups, in my opinion, but somehow not quite the same without that crystal voice of “Iz.”

    And The Ranch House is gone now, too.

    Makin’ me nostalgic watching and listening to that video. Thanks for posting it.

  4. AnywaysI am so hung up on this version of Somewhere over the rainbow.I’m a lot
    older then probably most of you writing in here.I remember Judy Garland
    doing it in “The wizzard of oz,in fact I looked so much like her as a little
    girl,& i also always loved to sing.I loved how people said I looked like her & also sang Somewhere over the rainbow like her..So all my life it was one of my favorite songs..Then when “Star Search came on tv,& Sam
    Harris won the singing contest with”Somewhere over the rainbow.I didn’t
    think anyone sang it as beautiful as him!! Was I ever wrong!! I heard
    it now & then on tv,but never knew who sang it,so I went to my computer last evening & just ASKED IT! Who sings it & played a uke.I found a few
    sights & I cant get enough ot this guy..Here I am a senior woman & that
    version put feelings into my stomach that I thought died long ago.I never
    found out how he died,but I assume it was because of his obesity.His
    heart or breathing probably done him in…Not only does he sing like an angel,but the pictures of him when he was younger & not as obese as when God took him “Over the rainbow…I couldn’t believe how much his
    features looked so much like my own grandson Wayne.He is also obese
    & 27 years old..I have this haunting feeling that he will also have a short life..I am trying to figure out how so many similarities..My Dad was very
    musical & he also played the uke,I learned when I was a kid from him.It
    all just seems so connected…….anyways I want to find IZ’s tape,love him

  5. Hi Vivian –

    I don’t think you are alone. This beautiful song has touched so many people. You can find it on IZ album “Facing Future”.

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