On the eve of Passover, our Song of the Month for April 2014 is dedicated to Had Gadya (Aramaic: One only kid ), one of the most popular songs sung at the Passover seder in some of its contemporary Israeli versions.
Song of the month archive
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.
Although the song Hatikvah became the emblematic lyrical signifier of Zionism, other contemporary songs of Hatikvah contented for that spot in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Today these songs are only remembered by a small hardcore of old Hebrew songs’ enthusiasts.
Singing the Hanukah Blessings while lighting the candles is a well-established Jewish family practice that is usually performed by the head of the household according to traditional patterns...
Our song for this month is I'm sorry, It’s Yom Kippur by the Brooklyn based band Schmekel (Yiddish for a small penis). The band comprises four members, Lucian Kahn (vocals and guitar), Ricky Riot (vocals and keyboard), Nogga Schwartz (bass) and Simcha Halpert-Hanson (drums). They started playing in 2010 and are a self-proclaimed ‘100% Trans Jewish band.’
One Yemenite Jewish Song and its Modern Reverberations
Hay ram galeh is a rather recent example of the extensive practice of contrafactum that has characterized the composition of new piyyutim in the Middle East for many centuries...
Hayrana Laih is an Egyptian song that was and still is popular in the Arab world, but also has connections to Jewish musical contexts and musicians. The lyrics of Hayrana Laih were written by Ahmed Rami (1892-1981), the popular Egyptian poet who was the main songwriter for Umm Kalthoum. Daoud Hosni (1870-1937), an Egyptian composer of Karaite Jewish origins composed it in 1932 for the Egyptian singer of Jewish extraction, Leila (or Layla) Mourad (1918-1995).
In honor of Tish'a Be'av, this month’s Song of the Month is Eicha Yashva Badad lament. Megilat Eicha (Eng. Book of Lamentations) is read in the night of Tish'a Be'av and in some traditions also in the morning after. Eicha Yashva Bada is the first out of five chapters of Megilat Eicha. It has an acrostic, as all the first letters of each verse create a sequence of the Hebrew alphabet.