We’re Off to See the Wizard

Harold Arlen, E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, 1939 (additional lyrics by Dan Ferris).
From the movie The Wizard of Oz

Although The Wizard of Oz often provides source material for vocal recordings, “We’re’ Off to See the Wizard” is not routinely chosen. Our version opens with the verse from “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead,” setting up “We’re off to see…”  I’ve rewritten the lyric as a socio-political parody, expressing concerns about our willingness as a society to place too much adoration and faith in politicians and celebrities, often to our peril.

The ending channels Pat Metheny’s “Minuano,” and asks whether or not we have the courage and wisdom as a nation and society to take on the issues of the day, or will be consumed by them.


We’re Off to See the Wizard
(with additional lyrics by Dan Ferris)

Once there was a wizard
In the lovely Land of Oz
A more wonderful, wonderful, wonderful wiz
There never, ever was.

He filled the folks in Munchkin-land
With hope instead of gloom
Then one fine day from Kansas-way
A cyclone caught a house
That brought a farm girl sleeping in her room
And the wicked, wicked Bush his doom

But the farm girl yearned for a home
So with her friends to see the Wiz she roamed.
And as they went they sang a little poem:

We’re off! to see the Wizard,
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
We hear he is a whiz of a Wiz
If ever a Wiz there was.

If ever, oh ever, a Wiz there was
The Wizard of Oz is one because…
It’s the wonderful things he does!

We’re off to see the Wizard,
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

He’s flown like a flock of doves,
Above, above, above
Whereof, she clicks her heels, and Boom!
She’s home again…

We scoff at seeing the Wizard,
The things that he does give us pause,
He puts us in a kind of a tiz,
With all of his wizardly laws.

If ever-oh-ever the curtain draws,
We’ll see this Wiz is full of flaws,
Bill Cosby, Cosby, Cosby, Cosby, Cosby––
Bill Cosby, the wonderful things he says!

We’re off, to see the wizard,
The wonderful Wizard of Oz…

(Going home) Are we cowardly?
(Going home) Are we wise?
(Going home) Do we have the heart
To find our way home?