Thursday, February 24, 2005

Fiddling While Chametz Burns (OK, so it's a stretch)

Biur Chametz comments on on our recent post. Here's a taste:
When my almost-wife and I met with the bandleader before our wedding back in '94, we had firm ideas about what kind of music we wanted. (Actually, we had first looked for a klezmer band, but that didn't pan out.) Our "banned" list for the band specified Yidden, Moshiach, and Samchem. A bit unusual, but not hard to accommodate.

Actually, we said, we don't like anything by Avraham Fried or Mordechai Ben-David.

The bandleader, as the British say, was gobsmacked. "Then what will we play?" he asked, dumbfounded.

"Well, what did you play before ten years ago?" He was certainly old enough to remember.

We went over his playlist together and found no shortage of classic simcha tunes, heavy on the Carlebach and Hassidic Song Festivals, along with plenty of appropriate shirei moledet (Israeli folk songs).

What did we have against those songs? Aside from a general musical aversion to shiny shoe music, those three songs were individually offensive. Yidden is written to the tune of a German entry to the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest about Genghis Khan. Moshiach takes a sincere declaration of faith ("Ani Maamin...") and turns it into a superficial glitzy dance number. And Samchem... well, I just find it unbearably tuneless. It feels like a football chant. What more can I say?