Wednesday, June 3, 2009

שחרחורת: Revisited!

I hate to keep writing about nonsense, but just to get the previous post out of my sight(!), I wanted to mention that it's funny, I don't think any of my readers who remember the discussion of the "שחרחורת" song are still reading. ...anyway, I just saw a new video on YouTube of this Avivit Caspi singing it, in HD! (she's got a good voice, ..but she's also making some pretty unusual movements over there.. ...she's the one who sang Hatikva at Wimbledon last year by the way)...

Lamma Bada- Moroccan Maqam.

Lamma Bada- Mid-East Maqam.

Sanakhudu lyrics!

Short film about Jewish-Moroccan music!! (Top left: Jewish Communities. Page 5: Music of the Jews from North Africa).

Ah, what the hell; I just saw this on YouTube, it's Emil Zrihan singing Ahalel Pi and Ya'ala Y'ala (written by Rabbi Yisrael Nagara, שעליו העיד האר"י שמלאכי השרת באים לשמוע שירותיו) with the Andalusian Orchestra.'s far from the best, but it's ok..


Altie said...

totally random- but why do u have arab songs on your playlist?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

A better question would be why do I have English songs! : P

Well the first song on there at the moment is Farid (al-Atrash) on the 'ud. ..I mean, who can beat that man? He's a pretty talented guy; not only does he have the singing skills of Umm Kulthum, but he was a great instrumentalist and composer as well. ...he also starred in Arab movies..

I mean, they were both obviously huge antisemites, but that was the spirit of their times in the middle east (just like Heidegger; just because he was a Nazi doesn't mean you've got to stop reading "Being and Time"!).

So first off, I want to say that as a "Semite" I feel more of a cultural connection with the Middle Easterners than with Western Europeans and their descendants.

Secondly, I don't know if a nation being antisemitic is a reason to hate them, since everybody hates the Jews, if you're going to hate everyone that hates the Jews then you'll hate everyone!

Thirdly, there're, like, no Jewish songs on that site!


Rachel said...

funny i happened here today. i DO remember that creepy scharchoret song.

i liked "sankhudu." check out "lama bada" on youtube... it's supposedly ancient and it's supposed to evoke memories of al-Andalus. I think you can appreciate it.

Rachel said...


הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Wow. Rachel. Thanks for having me in mind!

"i liked "sankhudu." "- It took me a few seconds to figure out what you meant! Well, it's nice to see someone taking some interest in that playlist! I hope you're not knocking Farid though, you can't knock Farid until you find me someone who can play the oud like that!

Though since you mentioned it, I checked out the lyrics for sanakhudu, and they're very..vengeful. The Arabs have a right to feel vengeful though...imagine if in two hundred years white Christians become the scum of the earth and Arabs take over, ..they would feel a little vengeful..

And thank you for introducing me to that song. Very haunting melody, though it sounds very familiar.

I was looking through the Youtube comments to try to trace it's history. It seems like it was in fact an Andalusian song, but it either had a melody we're unaware of, or a different Moroccan melody, because Fairuz made the song popular by composing it to a much more middle-eastern melody (which is the one we hear). I'm adding to the post the middle-eastern version, and a Moroccan version.

As an aside, I wanted to talk about Andalusian-Arab, or Arab music in general: It has always been my opinion that Arabic melodies and Hebrew poems make a great 'shidduch' together. Because, to me, those tunes are too holy to use only for the purpose of singing about girls, and having girls do belly dancing while they're being played. They really work a lot better when the content is the lofty spiritual ideas of the 'paitanim'.

You know, in one of my old Moroccan piyut books, it mentioned the theory that Moroccan Jewish music finds it's roots in the music of the beit hamikdash. I used to find that as unlikely as the Lubavicher Rebbes Jewish versions of Russian peasant songs having come from the beit hamikdash. But I once thought about it; while it's true Andalusian-Arab music is very different from middle-eastern-Arab music, there's no question that it originated in the capital of civilization back then, Baghdad, and obviously had little to do with the music of the Spaniards or the Berbers. It's known to have been created there within the centuries after the Islamic conquest of Iraq. If so, it is quite possible that they were influenced by the music of a people that were almost a majority in Iraq then; the Jews. The whole of Jewish culture was packed into a small area of Iraq (Bavel) back then, and mostly in the city of Baghdad (Neherd'a, the place where most of the Talmud was written). And what kind of music would the Jews in Babylonia preserve if not their "songs of Zion" which they were so loath to sing in Babylon the first time around.

So there you have it; Moroccan music comes from the beit hamikdash! : )