Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Source of Jerusalem of Gold's Melody

Haaretz reports:
A few days before her death last June, songwriter, poet and Israel Prize laureate Naomi Shemer confessed to a friend that she had based the melody to her renowned song from 1967, 'Jerusalem of Gold,' on a Basque lullaby...

...In her letter to Aldema, Shemer wrote that she had heard the Basque lullaby sung by a friend, Nehama Hendel, in the mid-1960s. "Apparently, at one of these meetings, Nehama sang the well-known Basque lullaby to me, and it went in one ear and out the other," Shemer wrote.

"In the winter of 1967, when I was working on the writing of 'Jerusalem of Gold,' the song must have creeped into me unwittingly," she wrote.

"I also didn't know that an invisible hand dictated changes in the original to me. ... It turns out that someone protected me and provided me with my eight notes that grant me the rights to my version of the folk song. But all this was done, as I said, unwittingly."
Via Jewschool