The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109658   Message #2294696
Posted By: Rabbi-Sol
21-Mar-08 - 03:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Shir HaEmek - The Valley Song (Heb)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Shir HaEmek - The Valley Song (Heb)
I first learned this song in camp 57 years ago and it has always been one of my favorites. I always loved to sing it at a very slow tempo. It sounds much better that way than the current versions on Youtube. We only used to sing the first 2 stanzas and it is only recently that I discovered that a 3rd one existed.

The camp that I went to in the Catskills was Camp Maple Lake in Livingston Manor, NY. It was a very Zionist oriented camp and we learned many of the early songs of the pioneers (chalutzim), that dated back to when Israel first became a state. We had a music director at camp who was very famous in the field of Jewish music. His name was Seymour Silbermitz. He wrote a musical play for us to perform called "Song Of The Soil" and many of these songs were incorporated into that drama. Besides "Shir Haemek", others that come to mind are "Al Sfat Yam Kineret", "Kuma Echad", "B'Arvot Hanegev", "Shir Haavodah", "Yerushalayim (Me-al Pisgat Har Hatzofim)", "Havu Levenim", "Rad Halayla" "Shir Hapalmach" & Shir HaFinjan".

I particularly remember "Shir Haemek" because of the young pretty soloist who performed it. Her name was Norma Eilander and she had the sweetest alto voice that was as clear as a bell. A few years ago, at a camp reunion, I learned from her older sister that Norma has passed away, a victim of breats cancer. I was very saddened to learn about it and told her sister that Norma's performance of "Shir Haemek" will remain with me for as long as I live.

Sorry for the long and nostalgic ramble.