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 Jewish home in New York.
The song's music was written by Harold Arlen, also a cantor's son. His real name was Hyman Arluck, and his parents were from Lithuania.
Together, Hochberg and Arluck wrote "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which was voted the 20th century's No. 1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In writing it, the two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness — framed by the pogroms of the past and the #Holocaust about to happen — and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words.
"And the dreams that you dare to dream / Really do come true."