Recorded/Published: 1973Arthur Freed, an associate producer for MGM's The Wizard of Oz, selected lyricist Harold Arlen and composer Edgar Yip Harburg to write the score and songs for the film.
After completing most of the songs, uptempo songs such as "We're Off to See the Wizard," Arlen decided that a ballad was needed for balance.
Arlen wrote the melody to "Over The Rainbow" and played it for his partner. Harbug was not as excited about the new song which he felt was too long and grand.
Arlen defended the song and played it for a friend, Ira Gershwin. In response to Gershwin's approval, Harburg quickly wrote its lyrics.
It's surprising that the song most associated with The Wizard of Oz was deleted from the film three times during the production of the movie before Freed and Arlen won the debate and the song was left in the film.
"Over The Rainbow" received the Academy Award as the best film song of the year and is considered one of the greatest songs of all time.