Instrumental performance of Hava Nagila
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|Music for Holidays|
“Hava Nagila” (הבה נגילה Havah Nagilah, "Let us rejoice") is a Jewish traditional folk song in Hebrew, that has become a staple of band performers at Jewish weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Roberta Grossman directed a documentarial explanation of what is Hava Naguila.
The melody was taken from a folk dance-song (a variant of Hora) from Bucovina. It uses the Phrygian dominant scale common in music of Romania. The commonly used text was probably composed by Abraham Zevi (Zvi) Idelsohn in 1918 to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during World War I as well as the Balfour Declaration. Psalm 118 (verse 24) of the Hebrew Bible was the source of Hava Nagila.
|Transliteration||Hebrew text||English translation|
|Hava nagila ve-nismeḥa||
הבה נגילה ונשמחה
|Let's rejoice and be happy|
|Hava neranenah||הבה נרננה||Let's sing|
|Hava neranenah||הבה נרננה||Let's sing|
|Hava neranenah ve-nismeḥa||הבה נרננה ונשמחה||Let's sing and be happy|
|Uru, uru aḥim!||!עורו, עורו אחים||Awake, awake, brothers!|
|Uru aḥim be-lev sameaḥ||עורו אחים בלב שמח||Awake brothers with a happy heart|
|(repeat line four times)|
|Uru aḥim, uru aḥim!||!עורו אחים, עורו אחים||Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!|
|Be-lev sameaḥ||בלב שמח||With a happy heart|
||This section contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (August 2013)|
- Abraham Zvi Idelsohn produced the first commercial recording in 1922 on the Polyphon Record label as part of a series which recorded 39 Hebrew folk songs.
- Singer Harry Belafonte is known for his version of the song, which was recorded for his album Belafonte at Carnegie Hall in 1959. He rarely gave a concert without singing it and stated that his two “stand out” songs are “The Banana Boat Song” and “Hava Nagila”. Belafonte explained: “Life is not worthwhile without it. Most Jews in America learned that song from me.” Harry Belafonte's version is also used in a comedy scene in Tamil Movie Mozhi
- Alma Cogan
- Irving Fields
- Josephine Baker recorded a version during her Havana sessions
- Frank Slay recorded an instrumental rock 'n' roll arrangement titled "Flying Circle" that was a #45 U.S. hit in 1962.
- Chubby Checker
- Connie Francis
- Dick Dale and the Del Tones (surf rock)
- Elvis Presley
- Glen Campbell
- Celia Cruz 
- Bob Dylan
- Lena Horne
- Vigen Derderian
- Jon Lord of Deep Purple included Hava Nagila in his solo keyboard improvisations before 'You Fool No one' track..)))... in concert, as heard on Made in Europe (1975).
- Jeff Garlin sings Hava Nagila on Daddy Day Care
- Neil Diamond, in addition to having performed Hava Nagila in such of his shows as his 1994 Live In America concert, incorporated it into a memorable scene in the 1980 version of The Jazz Singer, in which he acted out a cantor with popular-music ambitions.
- Brave Combo
- American thrash metal band Anthrax sampled Hava Nagila's main melody at the beginning of their song I'm the Man.
- Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica usually ends its shows performing a humorous song, usually referred to as The Vodka Song, played on the tune of Hava Nagila.
- At a sold-out show in Tel Aviv, Israel on June 16, 2009, American progressive metal band Dream Theater performed a cover of Hava Nagila.
- Regina Spektor includes a performance of the song as the outro of her song "The Flowers".
- The Spotnicks (instrumental rock)
- moe. Dr. Stan's Prescription Pt. 1
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes played two versions of the song on their album Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah.
- Merima Njegomir,notable Serbian folk singer
- Rebecca Pan (潘迪華)
- Smothers Brothers Tom Smothers sang a very credible presentation on their "Think Ethnic" LP under the name "Venezuelan Rain Dance", in spite of the inane comments and harassment from his brother Dick.
Usage in sports
- Ajax Amsterdam
Supporters of the Dutch association football club AFC Ajax, although not an official Jewish club, commonly use Jewish imagery. A central part of Ajax fans' culture. the song Hava Nagila can often be heard sung in the Stadium by the teams supporters, and at one point ringtones of "Hava Nagila", could even be downloaded from the club's official website.
- Tottenham Hotspur
Supporters of the English football club Tottenham Hotspur commonly refer to themselves as Yids, and are strongly associated with Jewish symbolism and culture. The song 'Hava Nagila' has been adopted as an anthem of sorts by the club, and is one of the most frequently sung songs at White Hart Lane.
- A. Idelsohn "Jewish Music: its historical development", p.12
- Yudelson, Larry. "Who wrote Havah Nagilah?". RadioHazak. Larry Yudelson. Archived from the original on 2008-07-29. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- In an appearance on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs on 28 October 2007, Joel Joffe referred to his grandfather Abraham Zevi Idelsohn as the author of "Hava Nagila", but in the programme notes it says "Composer: Bashir Am Israelim", meaning that either this is an alias for Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, to whom Joffe was clearly referring in the programme, or (more plausibly) the programme notes contain a mis-transcription of "Shir Am Yisraeli", meaning "Israeli folksong".
- "Hava Nagila, What Is It? (Part I)" at YouTube[unreliable source?]
- Leland, John. Hip: The History, HarperCollins, 2004, p. 206.
- "Set Lists 1968 to 1976". The Highway Star. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
-  Raphael sings "Hava Nagila" at Youtube
-  Neo Cheezy (2007)
- DALIDA Hava nagila 2, at Youtube
- Neil Diamond Live In America 1994, at Youtube
- "Hava Nagila Twist", on The Hokey Pokey:Organized Dancing (1991)
- "Hava Nagila" by Sonata Arctica in a Tokyo concert, at Youtube
- Dream Theater: vídeo de música judaica no show em Israel, luew, 19/06/09
- Amsterdam Journal; A Dutch Soccer Riddle: Jewish Regalia Without Jews – New York Times, 28 March 2005
- Hava Nagila! – Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad, 15 October 2013
- 'Waar komt de geuzennaam 'Joden' toch vandaan?' – Het Parool, 1 February 2014
- Promised Land: A Northern Love Story – Anthony Clavane, 12 February 2014
- The Yid Army’s chants turn anti-semitism into kitsch banter – Financial Times, 20 September 2013
- Kvelling for Aly Raisman on Salon. Retrieved 8 August 20112
- Harry Belafonte sings Hava Nagila with Danny Kaye (1966) on YouTube
- Hava Nagila's Long, Strange Trip
- Hora Music, How do you sing and dance Hava Nagila Lyrics and steps.
- Who wrote Havah Nagilah?
- Hava Nagila
- Discogs search for other remakes of Hava Nagila
- Historical research includes first recording of Hava Nagila
- Romani version of Hava Nagila (Aven, rromalen)
- Hava Nagilah, What Is It?