In “Here Comes That Rainbow Again” Mr. Kristofferson sees the beauty in the world and the goodness in humanity and genuinely believes that good will win out in the end and encourages others to believe so also. He has pared Steinbeck’s words to the very core of human nature and has used a rainbow to bridge humans with nature. He focuses solely on human kindness, the lessons that can be experienced from kindness and the wisdom that comes from understanding what it all means and why it all matters.
The words of this song are among the most uplifting in the world for everyone and his writer’s voice takes on an added importance because kids can understand its simplicity at an age when it is especially important to hear.
Unquestionably these words will be a sustaining message to many and an inspirational one to many more.
What’s Inside The Book?
- 48 pages appealing to art enthusiasts, music fans, literature and poetry lovers, history buffs, informed educators and inquisitive students (pdf format).
- 16 original paintings
- Sheet music to the song “Here Comes That Rainbow Again”
- A Wisdom Map – Learning Guide
Literature and Poetry Lovers, Informed Educators and Inquisitive Students
Kris Kristofferson’s “Here Comes That Rainbow Again” is the most perfectly crafted piece of literature to teach that I have ever come across and by far the most compelling. This lyric poem is written simply enough to be understood by a child but crafted complexly enough to intrigue a scholar. Students need not only to be educated, but also enlightened.
This book is designed to teach the most important and necessary critical thinking skills to the largest number of students in the shortest amount of time and in the most effective way possible. All students can easily learn what they need to be successful. No matter the age, intelligence, or learning style. They all easily get it.
John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath is taught in many schools across the country. What kids find fascinating is that it was written in 5 months in 1939 in an effort to quickly educate all Americans to the plight of the migrant workers from the states affected by the Dustbowl during The Great Depression. People didn’t have televisions in their homes at that time so they didn’t know the extent of the migrant workers’ suffering. The book immediately became the best selling book in 1939. It was made into a movie the next year which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two. The book soon won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and in 1962 John Steinbeck became one of the few American writers to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kids like true stories and even though The Grapes Of Wrath is a fictional account of the Joad family, the PBS and Ken Burns documentaries show the real footage and students learn best by understanding the struggle through the eyes and imagery of writers and filmmakers. Kids appreciate that it is the history of our country. They like learning the facts of the time and John Steinbeck’s use of character and imagery are captivating. He spent much time over a span of two years in the migrant camps gathering information. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Grapes of Wrath tenth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
This book contains lessons plans that tie together the other disciplines in the curriculum for all grade levels. Research overwhelmingly proves that students learn best from this layering of lessons in each subject. Some students will gravitate toward the literary aspects of the book. Others, the music, others the art or the history. After teaching this for many years, I know that students appreciate learning from the best–Steinbeck, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner and Kristofferson, three time Grammy Award winner. The theme is most meaningful. Kids believe in the goodness of people and are encouraged to exhibit understanding, tolerance and kindness in their lives.
With the Wisdom Map included in the book all students will learn the skills they need to know to pass the proficiency tests and the college entrance exams.
Every student can be successful on each of the lessons, do well and learn a lot. Some students will learn a whole lot.
Robin E. Cook worked for three years to create the oil paintings to accompany Kris Kristofferson’s words. Robin’s colorful paintings are a combination of the social realism and folk art styles that captures the heart of American culture. These styles speak to our diversity of heritage and shared national experience, individual creativity, and community values. Relevant to a broad range of cultural identities, the study of folk art illuminates our nation’s history in a unique way.
Social Realism, an international art movement, encompasses the work of painters, printmakers, photographers and filmmakers who draw attention to the everyday conditions of the working class and the poor. It became an important art movement during the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s, celebrating the common man and tackling complex issues of America in colorful, socially minded paintings. Robin’s paintings focus on the portrayal of rural migrant farmers affected by the Dustbowl states during the Great Depression.
Social Realism and folk art provide a window into the lives of individuals and communities throughout history. Many of the artistic projects have a narrative quality that invites exploration and discovery. The paintings for “Here Comes That Rainbow Again” are a perfect example of this.
The central concept and main focus behind each of the paintings was to show the symbolism of the light and the symbolism of the crossroads. Robin’s masterful manipulation of light is paramount in exemplifying who is in the light, how the light affects each person on whom it shines, and in illuminating the way at a crossroad. She deftly delivers subtle nuances of meaning from the transformation of the faces experiencing a crossroad at the Skyway Cafe’ and how the decisions we make at these symbolic crossroads affect our lives, and the lives of others and nature around us. Robin executes this concept magnificently. From the glint of the of the penny candy, to the luminous quality of the rainbow’s epiphany, Robin’s intricate attention to light enhances the human experience. Like the crossroads, Robin’s layers invite interconnectedness. Her use of vibrant color against the bleak starkness of the time makes these paintings unique works of joy. People are drawn to folk art and similar styles which, in its many forms, manifests the shared human impulse to find beautiful and satisfying solutions to the needs and challenges of daily life. Our hope is to expose everyone to a lifelong appreciation of the arts.
Johnny Cash once said that “Here Comes That Rainbow Again” was his favorite song that Kris Kristofferson ever wrote. Kris performs it regularly at in his concerts even today. Students particularly like that it is a narrative poem and they love the rhyme and the rhythm. I’ve had students as young as 7 play the song on a violin. This is a catchy tune that kids can sing along after hearing it only once. It was first recorded in 1995 by the Highwaymen, a collaboration of Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Kris has since recorded other versions on different albums.
The sheet music for the song, “Here Comes That Rainbow Again,” is provided in the book. It shows the guitar chords and the piano chords. One second grade student took the book home, had her dad play it on the piano and she practiced it on her violin. A week later she came in and played it for the class. It’s an easy song for people to learn to play on any instrument and to sing. Whole classes love singing it.