Video dispatch 5: A Jewish tune with a universal appeal

January 01, 2011

FROM THE BEATLES TO BOLLYWOOD TO THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE TO OLYMPIC GOLD

This is the fifth in a series of “Video dispatches”.

To welcome in 2011, before resuming the usual Middle East-related dispatches, which can often be depressingly serious, here is something lighter. (I originally sent out and posted this dispatch 18 months ago; a large number of people have joined this list since then.)

 

CONTENTS

1. A rich series of multicultural variations on a Jewish theme
2. Texas-style
3. Performed by Spock and Kirk
4. And with the help of Russian soldiers
5. A rendition by Dutch violinist and conductor Andre Rieu
6. A beautiful version from Iran
7. Hava Nagila on ice
8. Performed by former Miss Egypt, singing superstar Dalida
9. The Jewish Beatles
10. A Bollywood film version from India
11. Performed by members of the small Jewish community of Cuba
12. Hava Hagila (baby let’s dance)

Extra

13. American Jewish gymnast Alexandra Raisman wins a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, dancing to “Hava Nagila”


A RICH SERIES OF MULTICULTURAL VARIATIONS ON A JEWISH THEME

[All notes below by Tom Gross]

Hava Nagila is a Hebrew folk song, the title of which means “let us rejoice”. It is a song of celebration, often performed at Jewish festivals (and also at some Roma ones).

The music originated among Ukrainian Jews and the most commonly used text of the song was composed by Abraham Zvi Idelsohn in 1918 to celebrate the 1917 Balfour Declaration which gave rise to the modern state of Israel. It was first recorded in Berlin in 1922.

But, as the videos I have gathered below demonstrate, while it remains part of Jewish and Israeli tradition, the song now has an attraction that transcends frontiers and appeals to all people of good will.


HAVA NAGILA, TEXAS-STYLE

This version has some amusing local Texas lyrics in English thrown in (“A little bit of dog and a little bit of cat”) and is particularly dedicated to all those Texans who follow this website.



 

HAVA NAGILA PERFORMED BY SPOCK AND KIRK



William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and several other actors playing members of the crew of the Starship Enterprise are Jewish, so they may well approve of this video production.


 

HAVA NAGILA PERFORMED WITH THE HELP OF RUSSIAN SOLDIERS



 

A RENDITION BY DUTCH VIOLINIST AND CONDUCTOR ANDRE RIEU

This is a particularly good performance.



 

A BEAUTIFUL VERSION FROM IRAN



 

HAVA NAGILA ON ICE

A breathtaking version on ice from the 1999 World Ice-skating Championships, danced to by Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, who went on to win the gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics and is a three-time world champion.


 

PERFORMED BY FORMER MISS EGYPT, SINGING SUPERSTAR DALIDA



 

THE JEWISH BEATLES



 

A BOLLYWOOD FILM VERSION FROM INDIA



 

PERFORMED BY MEMBERS OF THE SMALL JEWISH COMMUNITY OF CUBA

Click here to listen to the audio.


 

HAVA HAGILA (BABY LET’S DANCE)

A more modern version for younger people who follow this website.

 

Update July 31, 2012. Additional video.

AMERICAN JEWISH GYMNAST ALEXANDRA RAISMAN HELPS TEAM USA WIN THE GOLD MEDAL AT THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS, DANCING TO “HAVA NAGILA”

American Jewish gymnast Alexandra Raisman wins a gold medal for Team USA at the London 2012 Olympics, dancing to “Hava Nagila”. (She later one a further gold at the London Olympics, also dancing to Hava Nagila.)

[Videos above compiled by Tom Gross]

 


Other dispatches in this video series can be seen here:

* Video dispatch 1: The Lady In Number 6

* Video dispatch 2: Iran: Zuckerberg created Facebook on behalf of the Mossad

* Video dispatch 3: Vladimir Putin sings “Blueberry Hill” (& opera in the mall)

* Video dispatch 4: While some choose boycotts, others choose “Life”

* Video dispatch 5: A Jewish tune with a universal appeal

* Video dispatch 6: Carrying out acts of terror is nothing new for the Assad family

* Video dispatch 7: A brave woman stands up to the Imam (& Supporting Bin Laden in London)

* Video dispatch 8: Syrians burn Iranian and Russian Flags (Not Israeli and U.S. ones)

* Video Dispatch 9: “The one state solution for a better Middle East...”

* Video dispatch 10: British TV discovers the next revolutionary wave of Israeli technology

* Video dispatch 11: “Freedom, Freedom!” How some foreign media are reporting the truth about Syria

* Video dispatch 12: All I want for Christmas is...

* Video dispatch 13: “The amazing Israeli innovations Obama will see this week (& Tchaikovsky Flashwaltz!)

* Video dispatch 14: Jon Stewart under fire in Egypt (& Kid President meets Real President)

* Video dispatch 15: A rare BBC recording from 1945: Survivors in Belsen sing Hatikvah (& “No Place on Earth”)

* Video dispatch 16: Joshua Prager: “In search for the man who broke my neck”

* Video dispatch 17: Pushback against the “dictator Erdogan” - Videos from the “Turkish summer”

* Video dispatch 18: Syrian refugees: “May God bless Israel”

* Video dispatch 19: An uplifting video (& ‘Kenya calls in Israeli special forces to help end mall siege’)

* Video dispatch 20: No Woman, No Drive: First stirrings of Saudi democracy?

* Video dispatch 21: Al-Jazeera: Why can’t Arab armies be more humane like Israel’s?

* Video dispatch 22: Jerusalem. Tel Aviv. Beirut. Happy.

* Video dispatch 23: A nice moment in the afternoon

* Video dispatch 24: How The Simpsons were behind the Arab Spring

* Video dispatch 25: Iranians and Israelis enjoy World Cup love-in (& U.S. Soccer Guide)

* Video dispatch 26: Intensifying conflict as more rockets aimed at Tel Aviv

* Video dispatch 27: Debating the media coverage of the current Hamas-Israel conflict

* Video dispatch 28: CNN asks Hamas: “Do you really believe Jews slaughter Christians?” (& other items)

* Video dispatch 29: “Fighting terror by day, supermodels by night” (& Sign of the times)

* Video dispatch 30: How to play chess when you’re an ISIS prisoner (& Escape from Boko Haram)

* Video dispatch 31: Incitement to kill

* Video Dispatch 32: Bibi to BBC: “Are we living on the same planet?” (& other videos)

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.