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"Hava Nagila" (הבה נגילה in Hebrew) is a Hebrew folk song, the title meaning "let us rejoice". It is a song of celebration, especially popular amongst Jewish and Roma communities, and is a staple of band performers at Jewish festivals.

The melody was taken from a Ukrainian folk song from Bukovina.[1] The commonly used text was probably composed by Abraham Zevi (Zvi) Idelsohn[2][3] in 1918 to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during World War I as well as the Balfour Declaration.

The transliteration, spelling of the title and lyrics vary.

Contents

Lyrics

Transliteration Hebrew text English translation
Hava nagila הבה נגילה Let's rejoice
Hava nagila הבה נגילה Let's rejoice
Hava nagila vi nis'mecha הבה נגילה ונשמחה Let's rejoice and be happy
  (repeat stanza once)  
Hava neranenah הבה נרננה Let's sing
Hava neranenah הבה נרננה Let's sing
Hava neranenah vi nis'mecha הבה נרננה ונשמחה Let's sing and be happy
  (repeat stanza once)  
Uru, uru achim! !עורו, עורו אחים Awake, awake, brothers!
Uru achim b'lev sameach עורו אחים בלב שמח Awake brothers with a happy heart
  (repeat line four times)  
Uru achim, uru achim! !עורו אחים, עורו אחים Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!
B'lev sameach בלב שמח With a happy heart

The digraph ch is pronounced like the German ch after a back vowel, as in Bach [IPA: /x/].

See also

References

  1. ^ A. Idelsohn "Jewish Music: its historical development", p.12
  2. ^ Yudelson, Larry. "Who wrote Havah Nagilah?". RadioHazak. Larry Yudelson. http://www.radiohazak.com/Havahist.html. Retrieved 2007-11-08.  
  3. ^ In an appearance on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs on 28 October 2007, Joel Joffe referred to his grandfather Abraham Zevi Idelsohn as the author of "Hava Nagila", but in the programme notes it says "Composer: Bashir Am Israelim", meaning that either this is an alias for Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, to whom Joffe was clearly referring in the programme, or the programme notes contain an erroneous entry. (The correct entry was probably "Shir Am Yisraeli", meaning "Israeli folksong", before mangling by the BBC's transcription.)

External links

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