Rainbow hijack un-OZtralian

OPINION: Grant WoodhamsGeraldton Guardian

Over the Rainbow was a great song from a truly remarkable movie made in 1939.

The Wizard of Oz featured the then young Hollywood star, Judy Garland.

The story and its characters have been replayed and re-invented time and time again, such is the magic and appeal of what was created all those years ago.

The movie is still massively popular and Over the Rainbow is rated in the top 100 songs to ever come from a Hollywood film.

Now a good 75 years later it is still a staple on many professional singers’ repertoires.

The song has stood the test of time and its evocative qualities capture both young and old, and all of us who think we might be somewhere in between.

But I worry about Over the Rainbow.

In fact, I worry more broadly about “the rainbow”.

You know, the one that sets in the sky after a shower or two, and the one which just might have a pot of gold at the end of it.

I’m worried about how much longer we will be able to say the word rainbow and have it essentially mean an arch of colours visible in the sky, caused by the sun’s light shining through rain or other drops of water in the atmosphere.

For those who didn’t learn their rainbow colours, they are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

The seven colours of the rainbow.

But the word rainbow is gradually being politicised and captured to suit the purposes of a variety of groups who are using its appealing cover to popularise their particular point of view.

For example, we have several Rainbow coalitions principally in the US and Europe, which are groupings of small single-issue left-wing political parties.

We have the ship the new Rainbow Warrior, which Greenpeace is building to lead its environmental charge on the world’s waters.

And in a growing tide of colourings, especially post the United States supporting the right of lesbian or homosexual couples to marry, we have rainbow coming to mean belief in and support for this style of “marriage”.

All these people would steal our rainbow for their own purposes.

A bit like the Wicked Witch of the West, and definitely not Dorothy.

“Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I 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…”

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