Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Only this week did I hear ( about ) this not brilliant but beautiful and very moving song by Serge Gainsbourg for the first time. When he wrote it, during or after the Six Day war in 1967, apparently as a gift to the state and/or the people of Israel, he was the same age as I am today. I would almost suspect that the song's lyrics - perhaps a bit militarist and overly nationalist to young ears - are meant cynically or sarcastically, but they do seem heartfelt and emotionally genuine. My own Zionist awareness started mainly after the first Lebanon War. Today many of us do not see the Six Day War only as an enormous success, but also as a missed - of course not exclusively by fault of Israel - opportunity with a bad aftertaste. For people of my generation it is hard to imagine the feelings - among Israelis and among most Jews abroad - of suspense and fear that preceded the war of 1967, as well as their feelings of joy and relief when the war was over. By then Israel had been in existence for less than 20 years. Let's also not forget that Gainsbourg was a young Jewish teenager in France during the Holocaust. Here ( posted during the latest Lebanon War ) and here ( an English translation of the lyrics ) are two links to postings about the song, after that I will post a You-Tube version of it.

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