Friday, January 11, 2008

"Hava Nagila" hit's British Charts (Really)

This is one of those truth is stranger than fiction moments.

The story goes like this ... Lauren Rose, a young British pop singer, thought it would be fun to record Hava Nagila as a present to grandfather. Her record company hears the track and goes crazy. They release the track in time for the Christmas holiday season and England goes crazy. End result...Jewish simcha standard gets voted number 1 Christmas song in England for 2007 (and most requested song in Israel.) Really.

Here it is, in all it's pippity poppity glory...

Hava Nagila (Baby Let's dance)

I saw the video a couple of weeks ago when it first came out, but got reminded of it yesterday when someone posted it to one of the Jewish music mailing lists I'm on. It's easy for music fans to get snooty about this kind of silliness (I'm feeling a bit snooty myself), but it's interesting that England took to it so well. Everyone loves Hava Nagila.

Also, one commenter on the mailing list made an interesting point that I'd missed. Lauren Rose is singing to an all (or mostly) girl audience who are rather conservatively dressed. While Rose is Jewish, I can't imagine that she is sufficiently observant follows traditional Tznuit rules which include the Kol Isha bans on women singing to non-spouse men and personal modesty rules. And not that I personally care. It's just an interesting and unexpected resonance to Judaism. (UPDATE: My wife watched the video and said it looked like a Bat Mitzvah dance party.)

Anyway, you can read more about the song in this Haaretz article, and in this review by Motorbar. And Rose's record company would be quite delighted if you bought the song from iTunes.

And if you had fun with this, there's lots more Hava Nagila silliness to see on YouTube. I posted a couple of my favorites a while back. Check them out.

Hat tip to Lisa Baydush, one third of Shir Synergy, for emailing the mailing list and reminding me about the video. And thanks to my anonymous commentator for pointing my incorrectly using the term Niddah when I meant Tzniut. All fixed.


Anonymous said...

i think instead of nidah laws you meant laws of tzniut.
good shabbes

Jack said...

That's right. I goofed. Thanks for the correction. I'll update my post asap.

Ari said...

The Jewish Women's Archive used the Lisa Rose "Hava Nagila" as the subject of an item back in December:

I have to say that I am underwhelmed, myself, by the recording, but that applies to just about anything I hear on the pop radio ;-).