For a get in the mood video this week, I thought I'd share a song and a story. Here's the story, last week I was at Shabbat services with my gang and the cantor led us in a version of Etz Chaim Hi that left me a bit befuddled. I was sure I'd heard the melody before, was sure that I'd never sung it, and was sure I hadn't heard it in the context of a service. So where did I hear it?
A little sleuthing later I think I've got it. The melody, composed by Tanchum Portnoy, is also used by the group Blue Fringe on their album "The Whole World Lit Up." I should say, they use a very different arrangement of a very very similar melody. I don't have the liner notes to WWLU handy. I'll dig them out or email Dov and see if I'm right.
Anyway, here's Portnoy's Etz Chaim Hi, sung by the choir at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburg, PA.
I haven't found a video or embedable player for Blue Fringe's Etz Chaim, but you can listen to it over at Last.Fm.
Hat tip to YouTube user Castodivo for posting the video.