Culture, Religion

Sing that Parasha

Last week was parashas Noach, which had a lot of great fodder: the flood, Noah’s drunken nakedness and the curse of Canaan, all of those descendants, and the tower of Babel.
So when it came to picking a tune for Shir HaMa’alos, the Song of Ascents (Psalm 126), which is sung as the introduction to Birkas ha’Mazon, the blessing of the meal (grace after the meal), dlevy and I each started signing a different tune. I was forcing the words to unsuccessfully mesh with The Ants Go Marching, in honour of those pairs of animals on the ark, of course, but stopped to spare our ears. (Please note that my version wasn’t as militaristic or creepy as the versions found on youtube.)
We ended up singing it to the obvious Rise and Shine, but there were so many other choices: Prince’s When Doves Cry, Etta James’ Stormy Weather, The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men. Or we could have gone with the Elton John’s obviously titled Tower of Babel.
But what happens this week with Lekh Lekha? What tune would you use to reference Abram’s Sarai is my sister trick? Hagar and Ishmael? Bris milah, the covenant of circumcision? Leave your parasha-related tunes in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Sing that Parasha

  1. It should be noted that while TWJ was trying to do the ants marching song, I was actually attempting to sing an actual Shabbat zemer appropriate for the day “Yona matza bo manoach.”
    It should also be noted that between hand-washing and motzi, I was yai-dai-dai’ing to “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” in line with my tradition of only singing niggunim written by Burt Bacharach in that moment of the Friday night dinner.

  2. I could do next week all in showtunes… Cole Porter gives us “There’s No Cure Like Travel” and “Bon Voyage;” Noel Coward gives us “Why Do The Wrong People Travel;” “Wandering Star” by Lerner and Lowe… and naturally, “The Bliss of a Bris” from Naked Boys Singing.
    Perhaps the most appropriate is the theme from the Jeffersons: “Movin’ on Up (to the East Side).” Billy Joel fans might opt for “Moving Out.” Or, for later in the parasha, “The First Cut is the Deepest.”

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