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Celebrating Yip

CELEBRATING YIP: On Yip Harburg’s 117th birthday (Monday April 8, 2013) the Yip Harburg Foundation’s Rainbow Troupe performers sang several of Yip’s songs including “Over the Rainbow,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.” The show starts at 4:30pm at the Tompkins Square Library in Manhattan.

Ernie Harburg Statement

Following the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on Apr. 8, 2013, the recording of “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” (music by Harold Arlen, lyric by Yip Harburg) from the soundtrack of the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz became an overnight best seller in the United Kingdom after a social media campaign by anti-Thatcher activists to download the song as a form of protest against her policies. Ernie Harburg, Yip’s son, issued a statement about this matter which was reprinted in Robert Mackey’s New York Times blog. Coincidentally, Thatcher died on Yip’s 117th birthday.

Annual Jewish Women’s Archive Luncheon

On March 10, 2013 Rabbi Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl opened the third Annual Jewish Women’s Archive Annual Luncheon with what Tablet Magazine in its Dec. 2010 issue calls the #1 Jewish song of all time: Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg’s “Over the Rainbow.” In her discussion of the song before singing it, Rabbi Buchdahl points out that in a “women’s reinterpretation” it can be characterized not only as “the most beautiful exilic prayer ever set to music” (according to Tablet) but also as a “Jewish feminist lullaby manifesto.”

Good Morning America

On January 14, 2013 ABC-TV’s Good Morning America broadcast a performance of the Yip Harburg-Harold Arlen classic “Over the Rainbow” by students from Newtown, Connecticut, the scene of the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting tragedy.

We are thinking of you.


“Why, oh why can’t I?”

– E. Y. “Yip” Harburg