yiphome_2In a career spanning over fifty years, E. Y. “Yip” Harburg (1896-1981), lyricist and poet, a self-styled “fellow who followed a dream,” wrote the words to over 600 songs, including all of the lyrics in the 1939 motion picture classic The Wizard of Oz, which featured the Oscar-winning “Over the Rainbow,” which was voted Number 1 Song of the 20th Century in a 2001 poll conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America and Best Film Song of All Time by the American Film Institute in 2004. Yip also wrote lyrics for the immortal standards “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” “April in Paris” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” All of these classic songs are still sung worldwide.

Known as “Broadway’s social conscience,” Yip’s greatest stage musicals were Bloomer Girl (1944, pro-women’s rights and civil-rights themes that were way ahead of their time) and Finian’s Rainbow (1947, anti-racist and critical of capitalism). During his prolific career as a lyricist, Yip worked with over sixty composers. His lyrics have been sung by a galaxy of artists from Judy Garland to Pete Seeger to Lena Horne to Eva Cassidy.

Yip fought for social and economic justice for all people his whole life. The Yip Harburg Foundation was created to promote educational opportunity, social and economic justice, world peace and Yip’s artistic legacy

Yip Harburg: Legendary Lyricist and Human Rights Activist by Harriet Hyman Alonso

The first major book about Yip Harburg in nearly twenty years, this interview-based biography with lyrics enables us to read Harburg’s own words about his life and work. He tells of his early childhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, his public school education, how the Great Depression opened the way to writing lyrics, and his work on Broadway and Hollywood, including his blacklisting during the McCarthy era. Finally, but most importantly, Harburg shares his commitment to human rights and the ways it affected his writing and his career path. Includes an appendix with Harburg’s key musicals, songs, and films.

264 pp. 16 illus. 6 x 9″ $28.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7128-1 $14.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7124-3
Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

A new PS Classics recording of Life Begins at 8:40, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Yip Harburg, is based on a concert presented in March 2010 at the Library of Congress. That performance, featuring a full 24-piece orchestra, conducted by Aaron Gandy, had a cast of Broadway and recording veterans including Kate Baldwin, Philip Chaffin, Christopher Fitzgerald, Montego Glover, Rebecca Luker, Brad Oscar, Faith Prince, Graham Rowat and Jessica Stone. Their performance has been stunningly preserved in this new studio cast album. The witty and effervescent score (set to the original orchestrations by Hans Spialek, Robert Russell Bennett and Don Walker, faithfully restored by Larry Moore) is brought vividly to life. This was the first revival of 8:40 since its initial Broadway engagement in 1934. Two members of the revival’s cast, Kate Baldwin and Christopher Fitzgerald, were featured in the recent Broadway production of Finian’s Rainbow. Release date: June 8, 2010.

The highly acclaimed 2009-2010 Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow may have closed, but the cast album is now available from AMAZON and other vendors.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is delighted to announce the publication of lyricist Yip Harburg’s Rhymes for the Irreverent (January 2006).

Published in collaboration with the Yip Harburg Foundation, the new book, for the first time, offers a major selection of Yip’s whimsical rhymes in one place. The 240-page hardback book contains material from Harburg’s two volumes of light verse, the original Rhymes for the Irreverent (1965) and At This Point in Rhyme (1976). The new collection also includes some recently discovered unpublished poems. More …

The book may be purchased from FFRF shop

In recognition of Yip Harburg’s contribution to American culture throughout his career as a lyricist and poet, on April 28, 2005 the US Postal Service issued a 37-cent Yip Harburg Commemorative Stamp. A launching ceremony was held on that day in New York City with Maureen McGovern, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson among the performers. Designed by Ethel Kessler, the stamp combines a photo of Yip taken in 1978 by portrait photographer Barbara Bordnick with design elements which include lyrics from the song “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz.

Your donation will help the Yip Harburg Foundation to fund projects that (a) work toward world peace, (b) work to end economic and social discrimination and exploitation, racial/ethnic conflicts, and social injustice; (b) provide educational opportunities to low-income and minority students through scholarship organizations; (c) advance and promote new works of American political art, especially efforts involving cultural and societal issues; (d) preserve and enhance the legacy of E.Y. Harburg through new projects or revivals of his standard works in all media.