Over The Rainbow chords



You can learn how to play Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy!

Originally featured in the blockbuster movie The Wizard Of Oz and written by Harold Arlen, the gorgeous Over The Rainbow was voted the #1 song of the last century by several prolific organizations.

I’ve recorded the Eva Cassidy live version, which didn’t become famous until after her death.

In Eva’s version, there is an intricate picking pattern and elaborate chord extensions which gently move the listener from one chord to the next. This creates a similar effect to that of the original orchestral arrangement.

The video above is an exact, note-for-note replica of Eva’s live arrangement, her mistakes included!

Remember, there’s a capo on fret 1, so what you hear is in Ab.


Over The Rainbow chords and lyrics (Eva Cassidy, capo 1)


| Gadd9 | Gadd9/D I Am11 | 6/4 D9sus4/A |

| Gsus2 /F# | Em /D | Bm7b13 | G7 Amadd4 /B |
Somewhere over the rainbow,
| Cadd9 | Cm6 | Gmaj9 | G9 Amadd4 G/B |
way up high,
| C | Cm7 | Gadd9 G/F# | Em |
there’s a land that I’ve heard of once,
| Am13 | D7sus4 D/F# | Gadd9 | A7omit3 D/F# |
once in a lullaby.

| Gadd9 /F# | Em | Bm7b13 | G7 Amadd4 /B |
Somewhere over the rainbow,
| C /A | Cm6 | Gmaj9 | G7sus2 Amadd4 G/B |
skies are blue.
| Cadd9 | Cm7 | Gadd9 G/F# | Em |
When the dreams that you dare to dream,
| Am13 | D7sus4 D/F# | Gadd9 | Am7 D/F# |
really do come true.

| Gadd9 | Gadd9 | Am11 | D/F# |
Someday I’ll wish upon a star, and wake up where the clouds are far
| Gmaj9 /F# | Emadd9 | Am7 | D6 D9sus4 |
behind me.
| Gadd9 | Gadd9 | F#7 | F#7 |
Where troubles melt like lemon drops, high above the chimney tops,
| Bm | Bm/Bb | Am7 | 7/4 D7/F# |
that’s where you’ll find me.

| 4/4 G Dadd4 | Cmaj13 | Bm | G9 |
| Cmaj7#11 | Cm13 | G | G7 |
| Cmaj7#11 | Cm13 | G D6add9/F# | Em9 |
| Am13 | 3/4 D7sus4 | 2/4 D6 | 4/4 Gadd9 | Am7 D/F# |

| Gadd9 | Gadd9 | Am11 | D/F# |
Someday I’ll wish upon a star, and wake up where the clouds are far
| Gmaj9 /F# | Emadd9 | Am7 | D6 D9sus4 |
behind me.
| Gadd9 | Gadd9 | F#7 | F#7 |
Where troubles melt like lemon drops, way above the chimney tops,
| Bm | Bm/Bb | Am7 | D7/F# | D7/F# |
that’s where you’ll find me.

| G /F# | Em7 | Bm7 | G7 Am7add4 G/B |
Somewhere over the rainbow,
| Cadd9 | Cm6 | Gmaj9 | G9 Amadd4 G/B |
skies are blue.
| C | Cm7 | G G/F# | Em7 |
And the dreams that you dared to dream,
| Am13 | D7sus4 D/F# | Gadd9 | Gadd9/D |
they really do come true.

| Gadd9 | Gadd9/D | Am11 | D7sus4 |
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why,
| D7/F# | D7/F# | Cadd9 | Cadd9 | Ab | Ab | G |
oh why can’t I?


Eva Cassidy’s guitar style

Eva Cassidy’s guitar style is heavily inspired by classical guitar techniques. A gentle and floating right-hand technique is seemingly preferable.

Using counterpoint movements, we never feel as if anything sudden happens in the arrangement. This approach relaxes the listener and moves the focus to the elaborate vocal melody.

Take the advanced course and you get eight in-depth guitar lessons on how to play and arrange as Eva does when she plays Over The Rainbow, the best song in the world!


Course preview (Guitar Lesson – Step 1)

Chords for Over The Rainbow – simple and jazz style (capo 1)

In the first video above, there’s a long preview of step 1’s guitar lesson. The chord boxes you see above relate to the basic “kids” version and the trad jazz version.

What we do in this first step is look at this basic version of the song. This is helpful in order to understand where Eva Cassidy is coming from.

We then expand on this into a trad jazz version by changing the chords, you could definitely go further here and add more chords or extend even more, should you want to.

The melody is played over both these progressions and the difference the chords make to the melody is noticeable.

We then look at how Eva has changed the time, the chords, and the melody and by doing this completely made it her own.

Here’s TAB for what you see in the lesson. First up is the kid’s version.


Here’s the trad jazz version with more chords, and the same simple melody.

Notice how the melody is an E (3rd of C) in bar 3. We can change the chord to a C#dim7 since the melody note remains.

In bar 5, the melody is the root, not a 3rd. This is why we can change the chord to a Cm7.


Here’s Eva’s version, it’s pretty amazing how many ways she finds to change the melody.


Over The Rainbow – 8 Guitar Lessons

To play Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy, exactly note for note, can only be achieved by breaking each section down, and practicing them as loops.

This takes six lessons to complete, for the final two lessons, we practice Lydian scale exercises.

Go to Over The Rainbow – 8 Guitar Lessons.


Over The Rainbow – Lyrics + Live performance

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,
there’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue,
and the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.

Go to Over The Rainbow lyrics.


Doris Day

Having achieved success as a big band singer, film actress, recording artist, and radio and television performer, Doris Day became one of America’s best-loved entertainers of the 50s.

Hits include Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Que Sera, Sera, and Over The Rainbow.

Go to Doris Day – Biography.


Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy was an American guitar player and vocalist who didn’t reach fame until after she passed away on November 2nd ’96.

Four years later, an amateur recording of Eva playing Over The Rainbow in her local pub was played on Top of the Pops 2, a TV show in the U.K.

Go to Eva Cassidy – Biography.


Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen wrote over four hundred songs. His 1938 song Over The Rainbow was voted the twentieth century’s #1 song by the RIAA.

Nobody has had more songs represented in the Great American Songbook than Harold Arlen.

Go to Harold Arlen – Biography.


Judy Garland

Judy Garland shot to worldwide fame when she sang Over The Rainbow in the 1939 Blockbuster The Wizard of Oz at only sixteen years old.

Amazingly, she had made an astonishing twelve films prior to the release of The Wizard Of Oz.

Go to Judy Garland – Biography.


Advanced Acoustic Songs

These songs use big chord extensions and sometimes, unique and complex chords that incorporate open strings.

Study these in-depth and you will gain a complete understanding of the fretboard, including how to build any scale, arpeggio, and chord, anywhere on the guitar.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.


The Professional Guitarist Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset that you can acquire.

Learn these songs and you can progress from being a bedroom player to working with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


Copyright + Comments

Studying great songs is the best way for a musician to develop, we believe displaying chords and lyrics falls under “fair use in education”.

If you are the copyright holder and do not wish to be represented in this way, or want to comment on anything in these lessons, do reach out.

Go to Contact.