Well before my Hebrew was fluent, or even passable, I sang and danced to her songs. Unlike most modern music, Shemer's tunes are very easy to follow. And now that my Hebrew has improved over the decades, I can now appreciate the beauty of her Hebrew. That was one of the great unexpected bonuses from last night's Naomi Shemer Singalong, which I attended. For the first time I really looked at her lyrics and understood more than the superficial. Some are like prayers. She mentions Gd quite a bit, asking Him to intercede.
My first awareness that there was a composer-songwriter named Naomi Shemer was in 1967, when her song "Jerusalem of Gold" became an international hit. And a few years later, when I was an olah chadasha, new immigrant in Israel. we learned a few of her songs in ulpan, the Hebrew immersion course I took.
The Naomi Shemer Singalong was advertised as a 50+ social/cultural event, but it attracted younger neighbors, too. I suddenly noticed that among the attendees were neighbors who had taught my children Naomi Shemer songs, my children's classmates and my own former students.
We sang from modern versions of the "slides," from way back when.
|אנשים טובים Anashim Tovim, Good People|
There's no doubt in my mind that Naomi Shemer's songs are far superior in every way to modern music. Last night as I sang along with my neighbors, I really wanted to dance, too.