Saturday, June 26, 2004

Update: Bish is still not awake. Here goes (I'm sorry, it's the best I can do):

LandofIsrael Song
Yankele Rotblit
(An extremely humble, non-rhyming translation by Imshin)

I gave my life to you and for you, Land of Israel /
Mists of purity filled my mind, I thought it was the Will of God /
The Jewish People, the Return to Zion, Coming Home, Oh Sweet Land of the Fathers /
Leave me alone now, I can’t be bothered with Mitzvas

I built towns in Samaria and I built villages in Judaea /
I built with Rabin and Peres and Meretz and with the Labor Party /
They always winked at me with one eye, the Zionist eye /
No Supreme Court and no B’Tzelem they told me – that’s the whole plan

Every member of every bankrupt kibbutz built on the ruins of an Arab village has become a bleeding heart liberal /
And I am the enemy of the people building a colonial empire on conquered land /
They want to see me walking in mourning in the ruins of my home /
And the poet from Sheikh Munis in Ramat Aviv will write to the New York Times about poetic justice

So much –
Jews hating Jews
Don’t know if to cry or be angry
Fire up the bulldozer Arik
Let’s start demolishing

Thirty years a man builds, he has a wife daughters sons grandchildren /
They grew up under the trees he planted, and they’re bringing up their children /
And he makes a garden and a little business, and life, thank God, is not bad /
Until some little leader in a tie with manicured fingers comes and tells him that the mission is over

It seems that your life was a policy mistake, you will be reimbursed /
This is what the nation wants, and this is what their president said /
A day of joy it will be, a joint celebration, a festive day for all nations /
Give out wine in the square, dance naked for peace

Don’t call it transfer, the copywriter will find you a clean word /
And the court will prove what this has got to do with human rights and civil rights and animal rights /
Because they hate me in the new left and in the old left and in the media and all the heads of finance /
They’ve taught the poor they have exploited that it’s the Jew from Hebron who is to blame

So much –
Jews hating Jews
The cup has passed over me
Fire up the bulldozer Arik
Let’s start demolishing

My prayer shawl is not all sky blue, it is blemished /
I have been involved in quite a few brawls, shepherds quarrels, beatings and threats /
Sticks, stones, Molotov cocktails, the odd gun here and there, oh the good days /
You may like to remind me who brought him here, and who gave them guns

If here and there I bent a rule, made a straight line into a circle /
Not for myself was I doing it, it was all for the People of Israel /
Even three years of Intifada, and daily murder on the roads /
Didn’t make a partner of me, we are not cried over

There is someone to blame for war, there is someone to blame for every soldier killed /
There is someone to blame for the credit companies lowering the credit rating /
The washing of hands of an occupation of every enlightened man /
All those walking in the dark cry: why is my light on?

So much –
Jews hating Jews
Tell me now you’re the boss
Fire up the bulldozer Arik
Let’s start demolishing

There’s a sea of madmen around, all manner of dangerous elements /
Even God doesn’t know what they believe in /
And strange weeds around and enthusiastic youths hanging out on the hills /
And all sorts of Rabbis and all kinds of saviors

No, you won’t see another Massada here and there will be no street fights /
This herd will go quietly to the slaughter, that’s how it usually happens /
Only a few dazed tens of thousands whose whole world has collapsed /
A new kind of absent while present, exiled in their own land

No one will hang a key round his neck for thirty years /
They’ll take the VCR along with the tape, recording the bitter tears /
Everything is upside down – look at the Hellenized left all holier than thou /
And we of the knitted yarmulkas will be the new bearers of the cross.

So much –
Jews hating Jews
I’m throwing away my yarmulka, I’m no longer a ‘doss’
Fire up the bulldozer Arik
Let’s start demolishing

Fire up the bulldozer Arik
Let’s start demolishing

Update update: A huge confession: I hadn’t really listened very closely to the music of Rotblit’s song (Hebrew link). He’s a lyricist for goodness sake. He should have given this song to a proper musician and not attempted to tackle it alone. The music is bloody awful. I’m sure Ariel Zilber would have been only too happy to oblige. They worked together on the immortal ‘Ani shokhev li al hagav’ (‘I am lying on my back’), one of the all time favorites I mentioned yesterday, among other things.

So it seems the radio gods have a good excuse to ignore this song, although there are some really abominable songs, sung by tone deaf pompous farts (please forgive me, Dad, I’m on a roll here), droning on the radio all the time.