This afternoon I was driving to Costco, in the rain, thinking of all the things that I needed to get done and how little time I had to do it all. What I needed was a little pick-me-up, perhaps some caffeine, a trip to a spa or the appearance of a magic genie granting extra hours in the day. What I got instead was Bruddah Iz on the radio, playing his version of Over the Rainbow.
The world was suddenly a better place. I didn't care that the parking spot I snagged at Costco was far from the store. And I must have been smiling a little because a few people smiled back at me. I just hope I wasn't humming aloud.
If you find the idea of a large Hawaiian guy playing a song from The Wizard of Oz on a ukulele to be a little odd, well, I would, too, if I didn't already know about him. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole was born and raised in Hawai'i. He died in 1997 at the age of 38. He left too soon.
You've heard his song before in a variety of media, including a Kellogg's commercial and during the closing credits of the movie Meet Joe Black.
Listen to this song and tell me it doesn't stay with you.