Friday, 15 March 2013

My Top Ten Wizard of Oz Songs

With Sam Raimi's Wizard of Oz prequel in cinemas this week, I thought I'd cobble together ten songs (mostly) inspired by the land over the rainbow... 

Special mention, of course, to Toto...

10. Squeeze - No Place Like Home

Domestic violence, Difford & Tilbrook style. Get whacked round the head by their ruby slippers.

9. Emit Bloch - Dorothy

Probably not about the Dorothy...or any of her friends.
Just be happy yourself
Don't worry 'bout nobody else
You've got problems of your own, she said
Quit your nosing around...
8. Everclear - The Good Witch of the North

A lot soppier than the title lets on, and surprisingly upbeat for the Everclear lads. Most of their songs are about Wicked Witches...

7. The Flaming Lips - If I Only Had A Brain

Wayne Coyne's version is scary-genius.

6. James - Scarecrow

It's hard to believe James were around back in 1985, in the days when everything was still in black and white.

5. Mumford & Son - Little Lion Man

OK, so I couldn't find a song called The Cowardly Lion. I did think of throwing in the awesome Coward of the County instead. But I'm saving that for later. Still, any excuse to play my favourite from Mumford and his boys. (That second album was a bit of a water-treader, but the first still holds up.)

4. The Avett Brothers - Tin Man

They see pain but they don't feel it. You can slap them as much as you like.

3. Scissor Sisters - Return To Oz

True munchkins...
He said, "Is this the return to Oz?"
The grass is dead, the gold is brown and the sky has claws
There's a wind-up man walking round and round
What once was Emerald City is now a crystal town
2. Judy Garland - Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Timeless. As is Eva Cassidy's version. And, as I discovered earlier this week, also the inspiration for the chorus of Starman by David Bowie. The leap of between octaves on "Some... where" and "" is identical.

1. Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Supposedly the first film lyricist Bernie Taupin ever saw, The Wizard of Oz obviously had a profound impact.

The b-side, when this was released as a 7", was called 'Screw You'. Which leads us nicely up Eminem's own Yellow Brick Road...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...


  1. I'm still sulking about Autobahn, but I may eventually get over it. Anyway, who would have guessed that Oz would throw up so many tunes...especially the Mumfords and EJ. And my contribution today is Kate Bush's Red Shoes,and someone told me that The Flaming Lips did a song about Flying Monkeys, but I just don't know...

    1. Good work. Stay tuned for that Kate Bush song, it'll be making an appearance here soon.

  2. New Breed - Stinky Munchkins.

    I admit, I had to dig deep for that one.

  3. Anything by Toto : assuming they did more than one song.

  4. Elvis Costello with Red Shoes....

    1. As with the Kate Bush song suggested above... come back in a week or so and you'll be happy.

  5. The only decent Wizard of Oz based song is "Tin Man" by America. The rest of your list is a travesty, and missing that one is it's coupe de (dis-)grace.

  6. The Scissor Sisters song is not even about Oz, but the sequel ( well actually about Crystal Meth but that's another story.


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