Did rock influence the music of the army entertainment troupes


Did rock influence the music of the army entertainment troupes
10:41 AM
Page 64
1967 release, “Einech Yechola”
(“You Cannot”) [Track 6], the
singer pleads with his girlfriend
not to leave him: “You cannot
just walk away like this/You cannot leave me,/You can’t because
it’s Autumn now/its raining outside and you’re staying with me.”
Like The High Windows,
many of Israel’s homegrown
rock bands put music to lyrics
written by leading Israeli poets,
which also helped in gaining
mainstream acceptance. One
such song, “Atur Mitzchech”
(“Your Head is Crowned in
Black Gold”) [Track 7], written
in 1976, was voted “the best
Israeli song ever.” Composed by In 2004, the hip-hop group Hadag Nachash released “The Bumper Sticker Song,” a humorous look at Israeli
Yoni Rechter to the words of poet society. Inspired by the Israeli practice of expressing political views on the bumper stickers of their cars, the
Avraham Halfi and sung by Arik well-known Israeli author David Grossman assembled a wide range of conflicting bumper-sticker messages
Einstein, it reads in part: “And that became the rappers’ lyrics.
your forehead covered with
black gold/Will come close to my lips like songs protesting the Vietnam War, was not with hope/not through the rifles’ sights/Sing
a rhyme to a song….”
well received in some quarters. The then a song for love/and not for wars.”
commander of the IDF’s Central ComDid rock influence the music of the
mand, Rehav’am Ze’evi, denounced the What other musical genres were
army entertainment troupes?
song for its antiwar message and insensitiv- popular during the 1970s and 1980s?
es. The electric guitar, bass guitar, and ity towards the families of the fallen soldiers
esides rock, in the 1970s some of
drum set replaced the accordion and and banned its performance on certain milthe older Shirei Eretz Yisrael (songs
darbuka (Arab drum) emblematic of itary bases. Despite the controversy, by the
about the land, history, and nostalthe earlier Lahaqot Tzvaiyot; and the 1990s “Shir LaShalom” had become the
gia, tailored to unite everyone livrepertory expanded to include American anthem of the peace movement in Israel. ing in Israel) enjoyed a revival, with new
protest-influenced rock music, such as the Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sang it at the versions and new songs written in that
group Lahaqat HaNachal’s 1969 song peace rally, minutes before he was assassi- genre. In addition, Mizrachi music (a
“Shir LaShalom” (“The Song of Peace”) nated, and the bloodstained piece of paper musical style combining the music of
[Track 8]. Although rock was gradually with its lyrics later found in his pocket gave immigrants from Mediterranean and Oriaccepted as the new musical idiom of the added meaning to the song: “Allow the sun ental countries) began to enter the Israeli
Army entertainment troupes, the song “Shir to penetrate/through the flowers/Don’t look mainstream. Previously, Mizrachi music
Lashalom,” influenced by the American back, let go of those departed./Lift your eyes had been performed only at family celebrations or wedding parties, but it gained
wider exposure with the invention of cassette tape recorders. Still, this music was
denigrated by some as muzikat cassettot
(cassette music) because of its association with low-quality recordings and
because the Ashkenazi elite had a cultural bias against Oriental Jews. By the early 1980s recording quality improved and
there was more recognition of Mizrachi
culture; as a result, for the first time,
Mizrachi songs were broadcast on radio
and eventually on TV, leading to greater
public acceptance. One of the first
Mizrachi hits was Avihu Medina’s
Left: Naomi Shemer composed the Israeli anthem “ Yerushalayim Shel Zahav”; Right: Idan
“HaPerach BeGani” (“The Flower in My
Raichel initiated a world music project inspired by the music of Ethiopian Jews as well as
Western and Oriental sounds.
continued on page 79
reform judaism
fall 2008