Six Israeli Freedom Songs for Passover

Passover is a great time to listen to songs on the subjects of slavery and freedom. With all due respect to George Michael’s “Freedom” and Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go,” Israeli music is filled with beautiful songs on these subjects and should not be ignored.

If you do not understand Hebrew, fear not: This article includes six of the best Israeli freedom songs, translated into English as accurately as the differences between the two languages allow.

While not discussing Passover, 1978’s “Bedouin Love Song” by David Broza, featuring Yael Levy, incorporated a desert theme into a song about the lust for freedom:

He’d send the sounds of a flute upon the sands of desert

As he caressed her soft body, the storm scrambled all

“Stop being like the sands, I want you like a rock”

He promised not to travel like sand again

When the winds caressed him, he held on bravely to the tent’s pole
He shut his ears, not to hear, not to even breathe the sound
“You are a traveler,” desert said, “buried in a small tent”
And the sheep in the valley sounded like a flute

Oh… Voices calling to travel
Oh… Voices calling to travel

When the floods broke out, he forgot all that he promised
In the storm, he lent his hands to the sound of the flute
Like sand in the wind, he was drifted into crazy dancing
Even the rocks spread their wings like a heron

When he returned on his horse to deepen the tent’s pole
On the sheets, with colorful strings she’d written,
“Welcome back, traitor. Hold on to the tent’s pole,
Because a traveling storm has drifted me as well”

Oh… Voices calling to travel
Oh… Voices calling to travel

He’d send the sounds of a flute upon the sands of desert
As he caressed her soft body, the storm scrambled all
“Stop being like the sands, I want you like a rock”
He promised not to travel like sand again

Oh… Voices calling to travel
Oh… Voices calling to travel

In 1998, Berry Sakharof released the song “Slaves,” on the chase of immediate satisfaction:

We sat on a river of aspirin

In the same old places

Not hearing, not seeing, as if we were air

The movie’s ending is close

Reality is coming soon

The picture is blurry and the sound isn’t clear

We’re all slaves, even though
We have “like, you know”
Opening our mouths wide and waiting for the next pleasure
We’re all the addicts of someone
Who is now asking us to feel
Opening our mouths wide and waiting for the next dose

Beautiful display windows
It’s all for sale
Even we are hung with gift receipts
So what can we do with this anger?
What about the jealousy?
Everyone wants to be free, but God, free of what?

We’re all slaves…

Dafna Armoni’s “Love You, Leaving You” from 1986 is written like a letter from a woman to her husband:

I don’t know how to start,

What to write, how not to scare,

I love you, I’m leaving you, I’m out of air

The end of the night, you are still asleep

So peaceful, it’s unbelievable

In your way I walked by your side

From such a young age

I want to explain, I want you to see
There’s nothing wrong with you, just with me
When you are by my side, holding my hand
You are holding me back, I want alone

I want to dance, I want to sing
To spread my wings and fly above the city
And get back to my senses
Light up my soul again
And alone, to know what’s up with me
To salvage my life

If I’m not wrong after all
Maybe like every married woman
I need to know if I’m losing out
And what is the cost

I want to make up for 10 years
And tell myself, “This is me”
When you are by my side, holding my hand
You are holding me back, I want alone

I want to dance, I want to sing
To spread my wings and fly above the city
And get back to my senses
Light up my soul again
And alone, to know what’s up with me
To salvage my life

You should know that you are in my veins
I don’t have a friend like you
You should know that you are the best in my life
Everything will pass, but you will stay

I treasure you, how can I finish?
I’m out of space and the letters get twisted
I love you, I’m leaving you
And the morning is shining

I want to dance… x3

Like a Kite was released by Yehudit Ravitz in 2001. (The copy right owner does not allow the video to be inserted in a web page.) It deals with the feelings of a woman who left her constraining life behind:

Let this melody go
Let this melody come
Up and down
I’m floating like a kite
Gliding and rising up
I’ve lost my direction a long time ago
And don’t miss it at all

Let this feeling arrive
Let this understanding sink
Up and down
Now that I’m as free as a bird
I don’t have one bit of regret
I’ve left a messy baggage behind
And don’t miss it at all

Wherever I land, it will work out
Even a far, unknown place
I feel like falling on Rio de Janeiro
Because there’s no more tomorrow

Up and down

Wherever I land, it will work out
Even a far, unknown place
I feel like falling on Rio de Janeiro
Because there’s no more tomorrow

Let this riot go
Let this riot come
Up and down
Now that I’m as free as a bird
I don’t have one bit of regret
I’ve left a messy baggage behind
And don’t miss it at all
At all

“Declaration of War” (1987) was one of the earlier songs by teen idol Adam, although it seems to better describe a later stage in his career, when he wanted to break free from his old image:

Tired of living the same routine

I want to scream, “Enough!”

Strangled by the dark chain

Of rules that you forced upon me

I won’t take lessons on how to live
No more principles and rules
No one can judge me
Because I have my own truth

Don’t want to understand, don’t surrender, don’t run
Now it’s clear for what
Feeling strong on the inside, no longer forgiving
It’s a declaration of war
A declaration of war

You who surrendered a long time ago
Won’t make my doubt myself
I won’t be another small cog
In your exhausted machine

True, in the ways of life, I was wrong more than once
However, in my way, I’m absolutely right
Absolutely

Don’t want to understand, don’t surrender, don’t run
Now it’s clear for what
Feeling strong on the inside, no longer forgiving
It’s a declaration of war
A declaration of war

True, in the ways of life, I was wrong more than once
However, in my way, I’m absolutely right
Absolutely

Don’t want to understand… x3

Finally, one of the last songs recorded by Arik Einstein before his death is called “From Slavery to Freedom” (2011), and is explicitly inspired by Moses’ story:

No more strength left, I couldn’t take any more

“Enough is enough,” I said, “I must get out”

To leave the slave within me behind

In a place where I will never return

Nothing more to say, I’m out of words
Nothing more to lose, but the chains
Which made me bleed, and I’m still scarred
Tonight I’m coming out, from slavery to freedom

Something inside of me, like a full Nissan moon
Calls me to get up, again and again
To go on a journey full of danger,
Toward a slight chance,
For an imaginary, happy ending

There’s really a chance that from the top of a mountain
I will see a far promise for tomorrow
Which may not come, but even if I die on the way,
Tonight I’m coming out, from slavery to freedom

Something inside of me… x3

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