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Re: Hatikvah, Yerushalayim shel zahav, God Bless America, etc

Is this the latest facet of "too Jewish"?

Eliezer Kaplan wrote:

>>I got the distinct impression
>>that it was taken to be too "pro-Israeli" by some, perhaps
>>because of some contexts in which the song has come to be
>>sung or even Shemer's personal politics.
>I know this is off topic (or at least REALLY tangential) but...
>This seems more than a little ridiculous too me- if it wasn't for folks who
>were 'pro-Israeli' the country (and the 'recent Israeli songs' as well as
>the 'folk liturgy' as well as Mr. Ben Yehuda and the revitilization of the
>Hebrew language) would not be there (to rag on?!) in the first place. I
>don't want to get political here and defend (or knock) the entire
>package-deal of the Sharon (or any) Israeli government- this ain't the
>forum- but a pretty song? C'mon!!!
>                                               ek
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Leopold N Friedman" <apikoyros (at) juno(dot)com>
>To: "World music from a Jewish slant" <jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org>
>Sent: Friday, September 20, 2002 1:23 AM
>Subject: Re:Hatikvah, Yerushalayim shel zahav, God Bless America, etc
>>Re perceptions of class and "jingoism" in national anthems:
>>Apparently, Naomi Shemer's 'Yerushalayim shel zahav' has also
>>come to have "connotations." I recently heard (and sang) it at a
>>Jewish campfire, where it was part of a medley of Hebrew and
>>Yiddish songs (some recent Israeli songs, some "folk liturgy"
>>like 'oseh sholom bimromov ..."). I got the distinct impression
>>that it was taken to be too "pro-Israeli" by some, perhaps
>>because of some contexts in which the song has come to be
>>sung or even Shemer's personal politics.
>>Contexts always matter, but I wouldn't accept any guilt by (disdainful)
>>association and dismissal of "yerushalayim shel zahav" or (l'havdil)
>>of a "God Bless America"; it always depends on who is singing it and
>>>From: "Robert Cohen" <rlcm17 (at) hotmail(dot)com>
>>>To: World music from a Jewish slant <jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org>
>>>Subject: Re: "God Bless America"
>>>Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 19:33:45 +0000
>>>Mime-Version: 1.0
>>>Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
>>>Message-ID: <F26Hmj9n1xxWn9R6mJB000001a2 (at) hotmail(dot)com>
>>>>Please don't be so hard on God Bless America; composed by a Jew and
>>>>'foam' and 'home'.  To quote a great Jewish lyricist, Who could
>>>>ask for
>>>>anything more?
>>>Alex and friends,
>>>I am indeed hard on "God Bless America" and expect to remain so.
>>>Woody Guthrie composed "This Land Is Your Land"--proposed by some
>>>(wishfully, I'm afraid) as an alternative anthem--inspired,
>>>negatively, by
>>>Irving Berlin's song.  He thought that the song had an unspoken
>>>of being sung by, and for, the wealthy/prosperous and smug (Berlin
>>>certainly the first, though he was a heartfelt patriot, if a lousy
>>>of the Jewish people)--*not* for ordinary working stiffs.  (So the
>>>of "TLIYL" was originally "God blessed America for me" [where we
>>>sing, and
>>>Woody changed it to:  "This land was made for you and me"].)
>>>Captures my
>>>sentiments exactly--especially when I hear the obnoxious Kate Smith
>>>GBA.  I realize many sing it with heartfelt and patriotic
>>>sincerity--but I
>>>TLIYL, by the way, was written to a borrowed (or, Woody might say,
>>>melody, just as The Star Spangled Banner was.  In a private
>>>Steve Barnett conveyed that he thought that I was saying that TSSB's
>>>borrowed melody was one reason why (he agreed) it shouldn't be our
>>>anthem; but, fwiw, that wasn't my point; contrafacta (new words to
>>>an old
>>>melody) are ubiquitous in folk as in Jewish music and embrace some
>>>of our
>>>most cherished songs, and I wouldn't rule out an anthem candidate on
>>>("My Country, Tis of Thee" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" are
>>>both, of
>>>course, also contrafacts; and "Hatikvah" itself is very likely a
>>>to a Roumanian folk song and, in any case, its melody is a so-called
>>>wandering melody, found in innumerable cultures--not remotely
>>>"America the Beautiful," otoh, which is my personal--and
>>>for anthem, was, I believe, written to an original melody.  Has
>>>seen/read the new book on ATB, written, improbably, by some TV
>>>I believe?  Any good?)
>>>I'm well aware of the data that Steve usefully supplied in re TSSB,
>>>as I
>>>have the incredible good fortune of having found a rare book--an
>>>book!--on the anthem in a second-hand store.  Just a wealth of
>>>material on
>>>Key's words, the melody, appearances in print of TSSB, and, I
>>>believe, on
>>>the *many* (I believe a hundred or more, maybe two hundred [sets
>>>of]) words
>>>that were written to the "Anachreon in Heaven" melody before Key's.
>>>But, to
>>>echo Alex, I wouldn't be so hard on the anthem for *that* (borrowed
>>>reason; the Anachreon society was actually, a drinking *and poetry*
>>>  They read poems in a pub and, I guess, toasted each one!  Kind of
>>>in its own way, no?  And as for extolling wine, women, and song--To
>>>brother Steve, do you take exception?
>>>Best wishes to all,
>>>Robert Cohen
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