the gift of music

The Gift of Music

We’ve all heard the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

There are many renditions out there too. By far the most popular one I’ve heard (and this can very well be a generation based observation) is Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by  Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. It’s definitely one of my favorites.

Now, remember how I said I love to try new things? Well, 2 birthdays ago, I hinted strongly at my husband that I wanted a ukulele. Lucky for me, he listened and got me one! But it wasn’t until recently that I actually began to invest some time into learning how to strum, and how to play a few chords. I’m no pro, but I’m lucky I was born into a musically inclined family where learning new instruments isn’t as hard as it can be for others.

I actually played the cello for 7 years and loved every minute of it. I was devastated when my cello broke during a move and it simply was not salvageable. So I had to part with all of it’s beautiful broken pieces. I simply was never able to buy a new one, as I knew with children and full time work and part time school, I just couldn’t invest the time that it would require me to have. So, I simply had to say goodbye to that part of my life.

Now that my children are getting older though, I find it easier finding time to focus on music. I enjoy singing, and I’ll go out and karaoke from time to time, but again, I’m no pro, so it’s all for fun. 😀

But, when thinking of Christmas presents for certain family members, there is one special person in which there is nothing I can physically gift to. She has absolutely everything she could ever need or want. And if I try adding more to her clutter I’m sure I’ll get scolded. So, I figured I could gift her something special. Something unique.

So this year I will be gifting her a song. Her favorite song. On the ukulele.
To practice I’ve been everyday now trying to learn this song. But one problem I kept running into was that Israel’s rendition is hard for me vocally. So I began to search for another one that would better suite me and my vocal range. And this is when I discovered this beauty, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Leanne & Naara. I first discovered it on Spotify 2 weeks ago, and as I am writing this I am noticing that YouTube finally has a video up (vocals only, no lyrics, no official music video, but I’ll take it).

Once I heard their rendition though, I just KNEW I had to learn it on the ukulele so I can practice my little heart out for our Christmas gathering to give to give as a gift to such a special woman. My husbands grandmother. So, to work I went trying to search and search and search the notes/chords for this song. Couldn’t find it. No where.

Lucky for me though, since I come from a musically inclined family, I am surrounded by musicians! So with the help of a friend, we got to work and figured it out! You can find our version here: Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Leanne & Naara for Ukulele (quite the post title right?).

Now, again, I’ll say this right up front, I am no pro. Which means, I can be very, very, very wrong with what I just shared in that last link. So for my fellow ukuleleans.. I apologize if it’s wrong. To be fair, I’m a beginner and the friend that helped me plays the guitar but he’s quite talented and he based it off what he heard, while I tried to help him match the few notes I know how to strum. But even with that, I feel super confident with what we came up with. It feels right, sounds good enough, and I can actually play it and give the gift of music to someone whom is just so damn special.

So if you play ukulele, even minimally like I do, give it a look over, listen to Leanne & Naara’s rendition below, and let me know what you think!

And if you are still out holiday shopping, and don’t know what to give, or are simply tight on funds, give the gift of music. It’s so fun, personal, and you’ll be the hit of the party. I promise!

Happy Holidays!

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