Culture, Global

Hava NaBaby Let's Dance

Today’s Ha’aretz reports:

British singer Lauren Rose has released a modern version of traditional Jewish song “Hava Nagila,” and gambling pundits have even given odds on the song to take the top spot in the U.K. Christmas pop charts.
According the British newspaper The Sun, bookmaker William Hill has given 17-year-old Lauren Rose a 16-1 shot at having Britain’s best-selling song on December 25.
The Sun also reports that Lauren’s father, Mark Goldberg, has quit his job as boss of Bromley Football Club to manage his daughter’s music career.
Lauren’s version of “Hava Nagila” is not the first by contemporary acts from both the pop and classical worlds. The list of musicians to perform the song includes Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Harry Belafonte, Julie Andrews, Ben Folds and violinist and conductor Andre Rieu.
The song, whose title translates as “Let Us Rejoice,” is de rigueur at Jewish celebrations, and is widely attributed to Abraham Zvi Idelsohn, who is believed to have penned the song at the close of World War One.

“Baby, just be free…
Now’s the time to do it,
Now’s the time to lose it…”

12 thoughts on “Hava NaBaby Let's Dance

  1. According the British newspaper The Sun…
    Haaretz is citing The Sun as its source? The Sun is the largest tabloid!
    Also, can anyone more familiar with the annual Christmas #1 hit competition weigh in on this? I know that the competition has happened in the UK for many years (decades?), but I always thought the songs had something to do with Christmas. How does this count?

  2. The song, whose title translates as “Let Us Rejoice,” is de rigueur at Jewish celebrations, and is widely attributed to Abraham Zvi Idelsohn, who is believed to have penned the song at the close of World War One.
    I checked, and yes, this is THE Idelsohn, who is well-known to all the Jewish music geeks out there. I had no idea he had written Hava Nagila!

  3. Well, who actually wrote the tune we know today as Hava Nagila is somewhat contested. Idelsohn (yes, that Idelsohn, yay!) was a music teacher in Palestine at the time of WWI. He collected the hasidic nign upon which HN is based. But some people believe that the words were written by a student of Idelsohn’s by the name of Moshe Nathanson. He (Nathanson) then came to America and became a very influential song writer/musical leader at, I believe, the Stephen Wise Synagogue. If you’re interested, you can check out s highly amusing little book called Hava Nagila: Song of Joy something something (I don’t remember the exact title, it’s at home on my shelf next to my Idelsohn) but it’s by Sheldon Feinberg, a student of Nathanson’s.

  4. This is painful and embarrassing. This is like 1000 times worse than Matisyahu (those that have heard king without a crown during a spin class can understand what I mean). I know many people are excited by this so called Jewish arts/hipster/cool thing but this is none of that. It is painful.

  5. She has a great future playing bnei-mitzvah (actually, in this case, I think it actually is “bar mitzvahs”)- that is, if she can sing at all without the electronic enhancement… Painful. Seriously, ugh.

  6. I actually kinda like the sound. The English words are certainly troubling, as is the video. This is the problem with the “bar mitzvah show,” as described by Rabbi Eric Yoffie in his Biennial address, taken to the n-th degree. I would prefer it if kids that age (even the ripe old 16 years of the singer) would be less “sexed” in every possible pop-culture outlet. There is more to life, Mr. Freud!

  7. It seems like she is gunning for the B’nai Mitzvah market already. The video looks like it was shot at a bat mitzvah. Who thought it was a good idea to have 12 year old backup dancers? I love hybrid Jewish culture, but this is awful.

  8. Lauren Rose’s song is a great hit. I am a mobile dj and Jewish–and will play this at Jewish and non-Jewish functions. Although it will be off the list at Chabad functions-it will do well at reform and conservative functions

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