Saturday, February 02, 2013

Mademoiselle -- A SONG IS BORN

A relative sent me a beautiful poem set to music.  The story below explains it all. Below the explanation is the link to the Hebrew song with English subtitles which grew out of the poem.  It is quite beautiful.  As the 80th year anniversary of the emergence of the Nazi state, one should, I think, give pause for thought as to the seriousness of what right wing and other religious fascistic movements mean.  If religious and other political fanatics win we all lose!

The explanation:

In  the summer of 1942, as persecution of   Belgium 's Jews  began, an underground Jewish group took form in cooperation with the  Belgian underground and set out to rescue Jewish children by hiding  them in various places around the country. The most active team consisted of twelve-women, mostly non-Jewish, who managed to hide  some 3000 children. This admirable clandestine campaign was unique  by the complexity of its structure and the degree of its success.

The  only remaining survivor from the team is Andrée Geulen, and on   September 4, a great number of the children who had been hidden,  celebrated her ninetieth birthday. The celebration included a  screening of a DVD in which singer Keren Hadar performed a song in her honor. The song stirred a great deal of emotion.  

This  song, composed very shortly before the event, arose from an impulse  on the part of one of the hidden children — Shaul Harel, who today  is a professor of pediatric neurology.

And  this is how it happened.....

One  warm summer day at the Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel, the Harel family was  visiting for a performance of the opera Aïda at Massada.  Shaul  Harel was lolling alone in the whirlpool bath. As the warm water and  the complete solitude began to take effect, he wondered intensely  what gift he could bring to Andrée for her birthday. "After all, she  already has everything. After the war, she married a Jewish  attorney, they were blessed with two daughters and with  grandchildren and  great-grandchildren, and to this day she is  surrounded by the love of the children she rescued."  

 Suddenly,  as to Archimedes in his warm bath, the Muse descended to him.  Although he did not emerge with a mathematical equation — since  mathematics was never his subject — he just as suddenly decided to  write her a poem. And this is not to be taken lightly, since for  many years he had written nothing but medical documentation and  articles. 
The  warmth of the water and the atmosphere brought lines tumbling into  his mind, and as if possessed, he burst into the hotel room and told  his wife, Dahlia, to sit down  and transcribe because otherwise  the lines would "get away" from him.   His wife raised her  eyebrows, thinking that the desert heat had  overpowered  him.  But she consented and soon a poem was on paper telling  Andrée's story. Shaul's imagination took him further and he said  that the poem should be set to music and his favorite singer, Keren Hadar, should perform it.

Since  the poem was written in free verse, Dahlia worked rhymes into it.  The poem  was read to Keren and she was moved to tears. She  said that it was suitable for setting to music and that she would  like to sing it. She  recommended Rafi Kadishzon, a prolific  and well-known composer. Rafi  heard the poem, liked it, and  immediately recommended Dan Almagor, a master of the Hebrew word, to  adjust the text for the music. In the  end, Dan Almagor  contributed greatly to the rhythm, to the refrain,  and to the  perfect fit of the lyrics.   All  this occurred in the  course of two weeks. A week later, the  song was recorded, the DVD  visuals were prepared, and copies  were printed with graphics and with a French and English  translation.   Everyone who saw it was moved, and now,  here it is for you.

'Mademoiselle' sung by Keren Hadar, with English translation CLICK  link BELOW or here<>

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