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Hallelujah

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“Hallelujah la’olam
Hallelujah, yashiru kulam”

I have been humming the song Hallelujah by Gali Atari and Milk & Honey in three different languages the last two days. No, it is not the one Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley/Rufus Wainwright (who, in my opinion, butchered the greatest sex/break up/ love song ever) sang. It is a cute, cheesy, 70’s tune, that managed to win the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest. That was the year when Dschinghis Khan were performing the song Dschinghis Khan (hoo!-hah!), one song that not even the 70 were a good enough excuse for… Yeah, I love it!

Anyway, it was 1979 and the song was a hit. The Eurovision that year was in Jerusalem, after A-Ba-Ni-Bi by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta won the year before. (Look at all those Jewfros! Putting the Jackson 5 to shame!) It was Gali Atari and Milk and Honey winning with a song that has been the most religious song to date to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

You see, the English version doesn’t do the words justice. They watered it down to a catchy, but super cheesy chirpy birdy bells are ringing the sun is shining we are decade late with this lyrics song. Seriously, the English is even cheesier than the the original. And kinda missing the grammatical power of the Hallelujah, which in Hebrew literally and simply means: Praise G-d. But I was lucky to find a version with both the original’s close translation subtitled. Alas, the sound quality is not the best, but let’s not forget, it’s from 1979.

1979: my parents were big fans of Gali Atari and Milk and Honey, and that carried on for three years, so when my brother and I were born Dan’s middle name almost became Reuven. Reuven Gvirtz is the first guy to start singing with Gali Atari. Dan’s only luck was that my dad was more sensible. Slightly more. Well, not much more. And my dad was a Shlomo Artzi fan.

My sons and I have been singing the song over and over again. I totally blame Craig, who dug out my Eurovision collection from one of the yet unopened boxes. (What, we have been here only 15 months, what do you mean we should have unpacked????)

“Halev male bahamon toda
Veholem gam hu: eize olam nifla!”

All links in this entry lead to YouTube. Click at your own risk. I should have done laundry.

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