As Purim, “the Jewish carnival,” arrives, we dedicate the Song of the Month to a very popular Eastern European Ashkenazi melody that, in the early 1920s, was set by the poet Levin Kipnis to the lyrics of his song “Hag Purim” (The Purim Festival). This setting soon became one of the canonical children songs for Purim in Europe and in the Jewish settlement in Palestine/Israel where it remains alive to this day among Israeli children.
Song of the month archive
Our Song of the Month is dedicated to Sephardic music and flamenco, two traditions that crystallized in the Iberian Peninsula and are at times associated with each other.
History of the Hillula of Rabbi Shim’on Bar Yohai in Mount Meron
On the eve of Passover, our Song of the Month for April 2014 is dedicated to Had Gadya (Aramaic: One only kid [young goat]), one of the most popular songs sung at the Passover seder in some of its contemporary Israeli versions.
The classification of traditional Ashkenazi melodies into clearly defined genres is a difficult, perhaps impossible task, since the same melody can function as a liturgical melody, a zemer for the Sabbath, a Hassidic niggun and a Yiddish folksong. In addition, some Ashkenazi tunes were reincarnated as Zionist songs, becoming Israeli folk songs and folk dances in both secular and religious contexts.