Edukira salto egin | Salto egin nabigazioara

Tresna pertsonalak

Eibarko peoria, San Blasa baino hobia
Hemen zaude: Hasiera / Blogak / Ingelesen hilerria / The English Cemetery / Hear the Basque original lullaby for Naomi Shemer's Jerusalem of Gold

Hear the Basque original lullaby for Naomi Shemer's Jerusalem of Gold

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/05/06 16:15

It's frontpage news in Israel, apparently. The song Jerusalem of Gold (Yerushalyim shel Zahav) was not an original creation of its composer, Naomi Shemer, but a copy of a Basque lullaby...

Haaretz has the story "quite right,": mentioning the Basque singer who was heard by Shemer (or by Shemer's friends): Paco Ibañez. But Haaretz fails translating the lullaby's title: it's not Joseph's Hair! The lullaby is Pello Joxepe, a male name, translatable like Peter Joseph. Perhaps someone took Basque Pello, and transformed it into Spanish Pelo (hair)?

You may hear Ibañez singing that at this record Real Audio will let you hear some seconds there...

Pello Joxepe is a well known song among Basques, but rather than in that soft melody used by Ibañez and copied by Shemer, in a rather different more joyful melody. The copied melody, in turn, seems to be a popular melody adapted to many songs... Other Basque artists have recorded it as Mikel Laboa singing "Ihes ederra" (Laboa used the traditional melody to put music to a writer's poem) or the group Hiru Truku singing "Bart hamarretan" (a traditional song).

As for reactions to the copying act... Nobody's outraged here at the Basque Country. We are such a little nation... we feel proud anytime someone notices us for something good (a nice tune, for instance).

Luistxo dio:
2005/06/06 11:23

Here someone put the mp3 file (3 Mb) with Paco Ibañez singing Pello Joxepe, accompanied by Imanol Lartzabal.

Richard Silverstein
Richard Silverstein dio:
2005/05/07 11:32

I have an mp3 blog & would love to feature any of those Basque songs you mention on my blog. If you know of anyone who'd be willing to provide an mp3 of the song I'd be willing to exchange something of my own mp3 collection (though I don't have much Basque music).

Bernice Fahrer
Bernice Fahrer dio:
2005/12/11 02:01

Looking for photo of Naomi Shemer. Can you help? Need for an article about her for a Hadassah publication.

Bernice Fahrer

Pamela Levene
Pamela Levene dio:
2007/03/31 13:15

The story of the origin of the tune broke on Naomi Shemer's premature death from cancer. It seems that she had heard the Basque song some time before writing Jerusalem of Gold. When she wrote her own song she was totally unaware that the basic tune that underlay it had come from her subconscious and therefore what she genuinely believed was an original tune was not.

 She apparently met up with the Basque composer after her discovery and expressed her deep regret and he generously told her to forget about it! He was delighted that his tune had found such fame in another context! As Jerusalem of Gold had taken on such a life of its own, he said that Naomi Shemer should not make public the facts.

The tragic thing is that apparently this deceit haunted her to the end of her days and she actually told those close to her that she believed her final illness was a punishment. Her last wish was that on her death the story would finally be revealed.

The sad irony is that no-one would have blamed her had she told the true story - after all it was her arrangement and the glorious lyrics that gave the tune a totally new dimension. Naomi Shemer wrote hundreds of wonderful songs that have given pleasure to millions and have become her legacy.


Iruzkina gehitu

Erantzuna formulario hau betez utzi dezakezu. Formatua testu arruntarena da. Web eta e-posta helbideak automatikoki klikagarri agertuko dira.

Galdera: Idatzi zortzi zenbakiak erabiliz

Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

Ingelesen hilerria

El cementerio de los ingleses


Subscribe to the Cemetery: RSS entries / RSS comments | By email.

My cultural consumption in English: 2012/13 | Television | Movies | Books

Creative Commons by-sa