VIDEO: Today is Lyricist Yip Harburg's Birthday -- Here He Is Singing "Over the Rainbow" and Explaining the Idealism Behind It

Today is the birthday of Yip Harburg, who wrote the lyrics for over 600 songs, including such classics as "Paper Moon," "Buddy Can You Spare a Dime" and, most famously, the "Wizard of Oz" songbook, including "Over the Rainbow."  He was also final script editor on the movie and wrote significant parts of the dialogue.

Harburg was a lifelong socialist.  He was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era and banned from television, film, and radio, though he continued to work in theater.

Harburg, who was called "Broadway's social conscience," infused his lyrics with idealism and visions of a better world.  Here he is singing "Over the Rainbow," accompanying himself on the piano, and explaining how as a songwriter he worked for a "better world, a rainbow world."