Skip to comments.'Hava Nagila' Review: A Tribute to Jewish Soul Music
Posted on 03/03/2013 5:05:28 PM PST by nickcarraway
It's not a very complicated song, or even a very subtle one. Its pop-culture connotations are more than a little kitschy. Ask a serious musician about it, and watch the ensuing slight look of distaste.
And yet, play Hava Nagila at any Jewish celebration, and watch the dance floor suddenly fill.
The charmingly offbeat, if oddly titled documentary "Hava Nagila (The Movie)" what, you were expecting "Hava Nagila (The Salad Dressing)"? tries to explain the pull.
Interestingly, for a song everybody seems to know, few people seem to know much about its origins. Director Roberta Grossman and writer Sophie Sartain trace it back to a 19th-century Hasidic melody from Ukraine, then to British-ruled Palestine, where it picked up lyrics.
Yet, they say, it only really became popular among American Jews after the birth of Israel, when it arrived here with the not-quite-accurate status of an ancient folk song.
The filmmakers tell their story quickly, not only with new interviews with rabbis, musicians and folklorists, but through some marvelous stock footage. Some is as charming and anonymous as home-movies of a bar mitzvah; others as campy as old record albums and YouTube clips charting the song's assimilation.
You want to see a vintage LP of Catskills' dance music titled "Bagels and Bongos"? You've got it. Bruce Springsteen doing a bit of the song in concert? That's here, too.
In fact it's hard to find someone who hasn't sung the song at one point or another. Glen Campbell talks about playing it at weddings in his early L.A. days. Connie Francis remembers recording an entire album of Jewish songs. And Harry Belafonte, who made it part of his repertoire, talks movingly about the universal language of music.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
Now why a Yankee Baptist would want to learn Hebrew I’m not entirely sure, but I seem to have developed this fascination with the language and the Hebraic roots of my Christian Faith.
Been listening to the Hebrew NT - Book of I Corinthians.
Trying to see if I can pick out Chapter 13, Shaul’s famous “Ode to Love”.
One of my favorite portions of Scripture.
I Think it might be around the 41 minute mark. How did I do?
What’s the Hebrew word for “Love” as translated “Charity” in the KJV from the Greek “Aga’pe’ “?
It wouldn’t be “Hav’ah”, would it?
Some Bible Scholars theorize that most of the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew rather than Koine Greek as commonly assumed, and I could accept that theory.
Do we have an English translation of the lyrcs of “Have’ Nagila”? It is a catchy tune.
literally “Let us rejoice” or “let’s rejoice”
For authentically Yiddish comedy music, Mickey Katz and his orchestra had a huge impact on the genre. He worked for Spike Jones for a year before setting out on his own. He even did a recording or two with voice artist Mel Blanc, including the Cold War song, “There’s a hole in the (old) Iron Curtain.”
Katz was the father of dancer Joel Grey and grandfather of actress Jennifer Grey.
As an example of how intertwined music could get, in 1948 the song Ghost Riders in the Sky was a huge hit, with the rather hokey sounding version by Vaughn Monroe being the most popular version.
Spike Jones then did a parody of it that was a hit in its own right:
And then Mickey Katz did his version, “Borscht Riders In The Sky”.
Have a tequila,
Have a tequila
with your Megillah!
It’s a favorite of surf rock bands, particularly this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VTvc-WDjLQ
“Hava” means ‘come’; ‘love’ is “ahavah”
Come let’s rejoice
Come let’s rejoice
Come let’s rejoice and be happy
Come let’s sing
Come let’s sing
Come let’s sing and be happy
Awake, awake, brothers!
Awake brothers with a happy heart
(repeat line times)
Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!
With a happy heart
Kinda doesn’t sing the same in English, does it?