Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Passover song that gets your goat


Those who finished their Passover Seder yesterday evening with a rousing Had Gadya might be astonished to learn that there are 23 versions of this popular cumulative song - about what happened to the goat my father bought for two Zuzim (English lyrics here).

The original song dates back to the Middle Ages and is unusual for being almost entirely in Aramaic. But different Jewish communities have adapted it. Take your pick : there's a Yiddish version, one in Ladino by the famous singer Yehoram Gaon, and a Bukhari one by Ezra Malakov.

This Tunisian rendering in Judeo-Arabic has a great percussive beat, while this Moroccan version by Henri Ohayon has no instrumental accompaniment.

Finally, I could not resist this one, made in 2010 by the satirical Israeli TV programme Latma. If its politically-incorrect lyrics get your goat, you can always sit back...and enjoy the melody.

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