[M.M.X.I.V. 207] א-קאפלה (post is in English)

Yesterday’s post got a lot of traffic to my blog, with readers sharing my irritation at the Beep Beep Boop interface.  There was one comment which hit another post in response to the Daily Prompt from a Thursday, and inspired me to wrote a post today, in the sense of Singing Saturday.  (Thanks to Love Happy Notes for the comment and invitation!)  Before I start, the title of today’s post is the Hebrew transliteration of “A-cappella.”

A specific song that I heard on the radio for the first time came to immediate salience yesterday.  During the afternoon, I was working on research while listening to רדיו לב המדינה (Radio Lev Hamedina) as I often do on Friday afternoons.  As the clock hit 15:59 in Chicago, corresponding to 23:59 in Israel, a song started playing that I had never heard on the radio before, but I had heard in another sense.

This song was מי נהר (River Waters), sung by הפרוייקט של עידן רייכל (The Idan Raichel Project).  It’s a beautiful song that speaks of a person’s love, through the motif of water in the river and the sea.  I am not sure how well the English translation captures the essence of the song, but that’s another post for another day.  (Note to self!)  The original song is posted below so that you can listen.

However, the first time I heard this song was not on the radio, but instead in a ShireiNU concert.  ShireiNU is the Jewish a-cappella group on Northwestern’s campus, and I am a big fan of them.  Their concerts usually include at least two Hebrew songs, and when I first went to the concerts, I had never heard them before.  I might say that I enjoyed the a-cappella version below even better than the radio version.  Is it primacy?  The fact that I know the people singing personally?  The style of a-cappella?

Several other ShireiNU numbers I have later heard on the radio include יו יה (Yo Ya), so I have the comparisons below, in the order that I heard them…

And how could I forget ערב של שושנים (Evening of Roses)?  This one appeared not only at ShireiNU and on Israeli radio (I think of those two, the a-cappella won HANDS-DOWN!) but also at my cousin Jimmy’s wedding during the pre-processional.  The latter seems like a great place to include the song.  The song is a traditional Hebrew song (as of 1957), so I just chose a non-a-cappella version with a female lead so as to make some sort of comparison.  (The one I heard on the radio was a different version, however.)

There is something strange about my musical tastes though: I think a-cappella sounds better live, but I think that popular radio songs sound better studio-style.


Today is the two-hundred and seventh day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes twenty-nine weeks and four days.

Today is the twelfth day of the Character Building Trial.  That makes one week and five days.


9 thoughts on “[M.M.X.I.V. 207] א-קאפלה (post is in English)

  1. I have always loved ‘Evening of Roses,’ Noah – first heard it on a Sharona Aron album my parents had when I was a child (and which I now own); I adore the a cappella version: such emotional singing. Thank you for reminding me of a treasured childhood memory and tune. x


    • Sometimes I think that music from another language can be the most beautiful, because sometimes over-analysis of the lyrics in a language that you know well can pervert it.


  2. I wish I understood the Hebrew language, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the music. Music is a bridge that crosses many barriers. Thank you for the intro and it was a pleasure to meet you through Singing Saturday Challenge.


    • I love that comment, Cathy. Music is a great intro to other cultures, even if you don’t understand the language of it. And of course there is instrumental music that transcends language.


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