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A Jerusalem Piyut, from a Cairo Song

February 6, 2017

This is a short version of longer text I wrote for the Jewish Music Research Centre, with Prof. Edwin Seroussi, a few years back: 

 

An Egyptian song by the Egyptian Jewish composer Daoud Husni, composed in 1932  for Layla Mourad, a young Egyptian Jewish singer.

 

At the passing of time, Layla Mourad convert to Islam, after being one of Egypt's first movie stars, and one of its greatest singers of the 20th century, even competing with the great Oum-Kalthoum. She disappears from the public eye, but her recordings and musical heritage remains. Her song Haryana Laih, arrives to the neighbouring Israel. And there, years later, in the Jewish community of Jerusalem, at Ades synagogue of the Sephardic-Jerusalemite tradition, the poet Nissim Ben Yitzhak Halevi writes Hebrew words for the song, for it to be sung in the synagogue. And thus we have Hay Ram Galeh, a Jewish piyut with an Egyptian melody:
 

 

And as for me, years later, while working at the Jewish Music Research Centre in Jerusalem, I discovered this song and decided that I must transcribe it in musical notation, like I've learned in my musicology studies, and put nicely all the lyrics: http://www.jewish-music.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/attachments/Score%20hayranah%20laih.JPG

 

 

The full texts:

http://www.jewish-music.huji.ac.il/content/hayrana-laih

http://www.jewish-music.huji.ac.il/content/hay-ram-galeh

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