In Episode 48 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg speaks with Yip’s son Ernie Harburg, co-author of Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz? Yip Harburg, Lyricist, and Deena Rosenberg-Harburg, Yip’s daughter-in-law and author of Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin. The interview was conducted on Feb. 22, 2020.
Performer, producer and historian Harvey Granat will present “The Lyrics of Yip Harburg,” an afternoon of stories and song celebrating Yip at the 92nd Street Y on Dec. 14, 2017 at Noon. His guests will be Ernie Harburg (Yip’s son) and Deena Rosenberg-Harburg (Yip’s daughter in law). Jazz musician David Lahm, the son of the great lyricist Dorothy Fields, will perform and play piano.
Richard Skipper will be joined by Karen Oberlin, Leslie Orofino, Maureen Kelley Stewart, Anita Gillette and members of the cast and jazz ensemble of Harlem Repertory Theatre‘s current production of The Wizard of Oz to celebrate Yip’s 121st birthday on Apr. 8, 2017 at 1pm at The Laurie Beechman Theatre’s West Bank Cafe.
On August 27, 2016 Yip’s great-grandson David Harburg, working with Children Waiting Everywhere, presented CONCERT FOR UGANDA, to raise funds to help build and paint a new schoolroom at the Bishop Magambo Primary School in Uganda. The concert featured new renditions of songs with lyrics by Yip including “Over the Rainbow,” “Old Devil Moon” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” The players were David Harburg, Joseph Shelcusky with music on the piano, Ed Wells sharing his originals and Rob Horning on violin. Venue: EMU Alexander Music Building Recital Hall. The tracks are now available on Spotify.
Bloomer Girl, Yip’s 1944 musical with Harold Arlen and a book by Sig Herzig and Fred Saidy, was ahead of its time with its feminist and anti-racist themes. At the Provincetown Playhouse in NYC Oct. 3-5, 2014.
These evocative lyrics come from the song “Down with Love” – lyrics by E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and music by Harold Arlen.
The popular song was originally for the Broadway musical Hooray for What! and has been sung over the years by the artists below.
Barbra Streisand’s cover (1963) includes notable lyric additions.
“Because I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me…
I tell them:
You say eether – I say eyether,
You say neether, I say nyther
Let’s call the whole thing off!”
A year later, Judy Garland performed Down with Love on “The Judy Garland Show” (1964). Her cover was explosive due, in part, to her suggestively stark lyric adaptation.
“Are we mice or are we men?
Can’t you see the light?
Come you fellow victims lets unite!”