Hava Nagila

This audio clip is of the tune Hava Nagila, as performed by members of the Maine Folque Co-op's youth fiddle group during a recent tune workshop led by klezmer fiddler Lisa Mayer & accordionist Sruli Dresdner.

The melody for Hava Nagila is taken from an Israeli folk song (הבה נגילה, "Let us rejoice"). It is perhaps the first modern Israeli folk song in the Hebrew language that has become a staple of band performers at Jewish weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs worldwide. It was composed in 1920s Palestine at a time when Hebrew was first being revived as a spoken language for the first time in 2,000 years (since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE). For the first time, Palestinian Jews were being encouraged to speak Hebrew as a common language, instead of Yiddish, Arabic, Ladino, or other regional Jewish languages.

 

Hava Nagila Lyrics:





In Hebrew

 

 

English translation

Hava nagila

 

 

Let's rejoice

Hava nagila

 

 

Let's rejoice

Hava nagila ve-nismeḥa

 

 

Let's rejoice and be happy

 

(repeat)

 

 

Hava neranenah

 

 

Let's sing

Hava neranenah

 

 

Let's sing

Hava neranenah ve-nismeḥa

 

 

Let's sing and be happy

 

(repeat)

 

 

Uru, uru aḥim!

 

 

Awake, awake, brothers!

Uru aḥim be-lev sameaḥ

 

 

Awake brothers with a happy heart

 

(repeat line four times)

 

 

Uru aḥim, uru aḥim!

 

 

Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!

Be-lev sameaḥ

 

 

With a happy heart

 

Listen to the audio file(s) here 
Sheet Music  
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