Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What Would Shlomo Say?

Ever since he died 14 years ago, there has been a resurgence of interest in Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach's music. In fact, he's composed more hits since he died. Obviously, I'm kidding, but the reality is that there are many melodies he composed that have only been discovered on private recordings since his death, and some have been popularized throughout the Orthodox world.

One of the most popular of these melodies is a tune called "Nigun Neshoma". It's a short and simple melody. For some reason, it has become common for singers and instrumental soloists to, er, take liberties with the song. Probably, like on the Dm Keitzad Merakdin, (which, contrary to popular misconception, I did not compose), they get bored with the melody and feel a need to stretch out.

Lets see how they do so. Here's an overview of many of the available performances of the tune on YouTube. You'll notice a common trend among singing styles (and sometimes "dance moves" such as they are) in these clips.

Nigun Neshoma vocal clip #1
Nigun Neshoma vocal clip #2
Nigun Neshoma vocal clip #3
Nigun Neshoma vocal clip #4

For variety, here's a Nigun Neshoma instrumental clip.

Here's the inevitable Nigun Neshoma rip-off clip. (It's the 1st tune in the clip.)

Whad'ya think o' these? Is it just me? Why approach the song this way?

Finally, for those who made it through all those clips, here's a palate cleanser.