Song of the Month:

August 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.
The three recordings attached below are three versions of a reading of chapter 1, verses 1-3, in the Iraqi Nussach, sung by Baruch Abdallah Ezra. They were conducted in 1951 by the ethnomusicologist Johana L. Spector, who recorded Jewish immigrants which arrived to the new State of Israel. In these verses, the poet laments the fall of Zion and the exile which followed, Chazal consider the writer of the Megilat Eicha to be the prophet Jeremiah.

Hebrew lyrics

א איכה ישבה בדד, העיר רבתי עם--הייתה, כאלמנה; רבתי בגויים, שרתי במדינות--הייתה, למס.
ב בכה תבכה בלילה, ודמעתה על לחייה--אין-לה מנחם, מכל-אוהביה: כל-ריעיה בגדו בה, היו לה לאויבים.
ג גלתה יהודה מעוני, ומרוב עבודה--היא ישבה בגויים, לא מצאה מנוח; כל-רודפיה השיגוה, בין המצרים.



English lyrics

1 How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.
2 Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is none to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.
3 After affliction and harsh labor, Judah has gone into exile. She dwells among the nations; she finds no resting place. All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress.




Sound Examples: 
Third Recording

Recordings of the National Sound Archive. Recorded by: Johanna L. Spector, 1951. Y 61, Y62, Y63.