Go ahead and add "Glee" to the list of pop culture references in the ongoing disaster in the Gulf.

Fox's hit television series, which follows the "musical" lives of a group of kids in a high school glee club, recently aired a version of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" that quickly became a hit on iTunes. During that time, Environmental Defense Fund Executive Director David Yarnold returned from an aerial and boat tour of coastal Louisiana with “horrific images seared in his memory.”

While showing those images to family members, his 13-year-old daughter played the song in the background. The combo so moved him that he wrote about the experience on his site saying,

“This beautiful song and the tragic images from the Gulf Coast oil disaster remind us that we have a choice to leave a better world for our children. I wanted anyone and everyone to see what our addiction to oil had done to the Gulf and to contrast that with the sense of hope and possibility that ‘Over the rainbow’ exudes.”
Not long after, Yarnold received permission from Peter Rice, chairman of Fox Networks Entertainment, to use the song with EDF's images.

It is indeed a powerful combination of song and visuals. To learn more about the EDF's campaign in the Gulf, jump here.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Glee' song inspires Gulf oil disaster video
Environmental Defense Fund receives permission to use version of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' from hit television show.