Song of the month archive

Dort wo die Zeder: A Forgotten Zionist Anthem in German

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Month: 
January, 2014

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. 

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Hanukah Blessings

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Month: 
December, 2013

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...

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Hayrana Laih

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Month: 
April, 2013

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).

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Eicha Yashva Badad

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Month: 
July, 2010

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.

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Yechidi Laderech Li Etse'a

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Month: 
June, 2010

"Alone I set out on the road," wrote Lermontov, the great Russian poet, in 1841. This line has been sung many times, as it came from the very popular Russian romance, "Vyhozhu odin ja na dorogu" (Alone I set out on the road). The song travelled all the way from Russia to Israel during the second Aliya, which consisted of many Russian immigrants. These immigrants, who left their homes in Europe and arrived in a desolate country in the Middle East, could feel themselves as the lonely traveler of this romantic song.

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In Ale Gasn\ Hey Hey Daloy Politsey

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Month: 
May, 2010

In honor of May Day, this month's song of the month is a Yiddish song about the political struggles of Jewish socialists, communists, and even anarchists, in Russia and Poland since the ending of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century. The song is actually a combination of two songs, arranged by Zalman Mlotek, musician, conductor, arranger and an authority in Yiddish folk and theater music.

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