Conversion on the dance floor - A weekly report by an Israeli in Berlin
By Amit Epstein | 04/11/2010
I'll start with a slightly embarrassing confession – since I remember and until today, the sounds and words of Ha'Tikvah can bring tears to my eyes, and if something lifts up my mood within seconds, it's the tune and the mantra of Hava Nagilah
To my surprise, at least the fascination of Hava Nagilah is apparently something I share with a surprisingly large community all over the world, transcontinental, throughout nations and traditions; a coincidence in a YouTube search which went wrong and led nowhere, ended up with a goldmine of Hava Nagilah versions – a time tunnel which demonstrates how profound is this sound, how essential is this joy, incarnated into this Jewish folk song.
Let's start with the obvious; Rika Zarai, 1966, jumping, humping and singing on the hills and rocks of Rosh-Hanikrah –
The naïve setting, the naked truth of the surrounding, and the heart-touching attempt to adjust the fashion to the world trends of the times, which illustrates a tear in the Israeli society until this very moment.
Slightly before, about 1959 in France, Dalida – the dark beauty and later the disco queen – gives it a chanson energy and femme fatale feel:
1971, the Latin charmer Rafael is putting his spell on the lyrics:
Around this time, the legendary TV series, Star Trek, was broadcasted and in this video a fan has mixed some snaps of their funny moments with the at least as legendary Barry Sisters version of their people's choice:
At the Lawrence Welk Show another female pair, Sandi & Sally, tryout to adjust the anthem to their performance style:
Dick Dale, another American legend, King of the Surf Guitar, has made this lounge version, which made me think of "pulp fiction" –
Still in America, a famous diva, Connie Francis, sometime lost in the 80's judging by her outfit, dedicates a mash up of Hava Nagilah and Exodus film theme into a master piece. Her words at the beginning – "I'd like to dedicate this song that I have through the past 45 years to the great state and people of Israel, who are truly an inspiration to the whole free world" is a memorial to the perspective of public opinion on Israel at earlier stages...
But enough of America – I've promised a world crossing journey – here it comes: in Asia
As a dance show:
And cross styles, from a renowned violinist at the Royal Albert Hall
To trance tracks of DJ's
Or pop, as in this Lauren Rose clip
Unfortunately, in most cases of Hava Nagilah clips on YouTube the remarks of the talkbackers are systematically hateful. Some go even as far as making their own versions, as in this case:
They even have a web-site: JewsKilledJesus.com – no need to check it out…