The Perfect Popular Song? by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Illustrated by Cover by Rotem Omri -
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The Perfect Popular Song?


Artwork: Cover by Rotem Omri

After fruitful careers as a scientist and inventor I've gone back to what I love most - writing children's books Read More
  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Published Books 1543

“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” E. Y. (Yip) Harburg

It’s not the music that you listen to. It’s the music that you are. -Anonymous

Writing great songs is something you can’t do consciously. Rather you have to let the music come by itself. The job of the musician is to get out of the way of the music.” – Michael Jackson


For the exam, you should know all about the song “Over the Rainbow”, and why according to the video it has an exceptional melody. You should know the words.

We also talked about another song from the movie: If I only had a brain. Just saying.


Can you identify the most popular song of the twentieth century? It starts like this:

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 window pane
To a place behind the sun
Just a step beyond the rain….


Somewhere Over the Rainbow might be the most perfect popular song ever written. It has been around since 1939. Here is the song from the original movie performance.



There are very popular covers.

Here’s one by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.



Here’s another by Ariana Grande.



And of course, Ella Fitzgerald (with the verse)



But why? Why is it so popular (it is, after all, over 80 years old)? Why are people still in love with it?

Please read this link, – and yes, there may be a question on the exam.


You can learn more about Harold Arlen who wrote the music to Over the Rainbow and other wonderful songs…


This is a short book with some important songs.


And yes, I know…

Some of you may think this is the perfect popular song…

And that’s fine too!!


Complete creative freedom, you haven’t heard anything like it, opera right in the middle, part a capella, ballad, rock, opera, avoids regular structure – 5 sections. production, reduction mixing, 180 tracks to 24. Freddie’s personality and life, pushes boundaries.



A simple and fun way to fall in love with ‘old popular tunes’ is to listen to Chet Baker sing and play them. It’s never too late!

Title Writer(s) Length
1. That Old Feeling Lew BrownSammy Fain 3:03
2. “It’s Always You” Jimmy Van HeusenJohnny Burke 3:35
3. Like Someone in Love Jimmy Van HeusenJohnny Burke 2:26
4. “My Ideal” Newell ChaseLeo RobinRichard A. Whiting 4:22
5. I’ve Never Been in Love Before Frank Loesser 4:29
6. My Buddy Walter DonaldsonGus Kahn 3:19
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. But Not for Me George GershwinIra Gershwin 3:04
8. Time After Time Jule StyneSammy Cahn 2:46
9. I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes) Hoagy Carmichael 2:59
10. My Funny Valentine Richard RodgersLorenz Hart 2:21
11. There Will Never Be Another You Harry WarrenMack Gordon 3:00
12. The Thrill is Gone Lew BrownRay Henderson 2:51
13. I Fall in Love Too Easily Jule StyneSammy Cahn 3:21
14. Look for the Silver Lining Jerome KernBuddy DeSylva 2:39


And now the important questions

What classifies as a popular song?

What is the ‘secret sauce’ that makes a popular song immortal?


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