Yip Harburg was one of the greatest lyricists of his time, creating words to some of the most memorable songs ever written, including “Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz, and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” the unofficial anthem of the great Depression. Because of his support for working people and equality, Yip was blacklisted in the McCarthy witch hunts of the 50s, but nothing could tame his joyful spirit, his playful intellect, and his deep seated irreverence toward pomposity, pride, and pretension. Rising from poverty on the Lower East Side of New York, Yip’s work stands with that of other giants of lyric writing like Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Oscar Hammerstein, and Lorenz Hart as a testament to the enduring beauty that happens when a well-turned phrase meets the lure of a musical hook.
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An excellent overview and discussion, complete with videos about Yip Harburg.