Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13: The "first lady of Israeli song and poetry," Naomi Shemer, was born on this date in 1930...

... she died on June 26, 2004 at the age of 73.

Naomi Semer was born on Kvutzat Kinneret, a kibbutz her parents had helped found, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Naomi’s musical skill was evident during her childhood, when she began to lead community singing on the kibbutz.

After completing school she was sent to study at the academy of music in Jerusalem and upon returning to the kibbutz taught music to the kibbutz children. During this period she wrote several children’s songs, including “The Short Tour,” “The Post Van,” and “Our Little Brother,”all of which appeared for the first time on the 1958 album by Yuaffa Yarkoni, Songs from Kinneret.

Shemer began her army service in the Israeli Defense Force's Nahal entertainment troupe. During her military service in 1956 she wrote several songs for a revue by the Central Command troupe, “A Raid in the Village” under the pseudonym S. Carmel. After her discharge she married the actor Gideon Shemewith whom she had a daughter, Lali. They were later divorced; she went on to marry attorney Mordechai Horowitz, with whom she had a son, Ariel.

Shemer did her own songwriting and composing, set famous poems to music, such as those of the Israeli poet, Rachel, and adapted well-known songs into Hebrew, such as the Beatles songs "Let It Be."

In 1963, she composed "Hurshat Ha'Eucalyptus (The Eucalyptus Grove)," a song that evokes Kvutzat Kinneret where she was born, and sung in a recent version by Ishtar.

In 1967, she wrote the famous patriotic song "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav," sung by Shuly Nathan. Inspired by the Basque lullaby "Pello Joxepe" (something Shemer admitted to later on), it was originally for the Israeli Music Festival, and she added another verse after the Six-Day War that year.

In 1982 her third collection, Book Three, was published. At the annual Arad Festival, which was launched that year, as well as at subsequent Arad Festivals, Shemer’s songs filled the programs of all the ensembles, every one of which performed at least one or two of her songs. In 1983, Shemer received the Israel Prize for Hebrew song (words and melody).

In 2005, she was voted the 6th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.

Shemer continued to write and perform until her death. She died of cancer in 2004, aged 73. Shemer's grave is on the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret). The stones were left by visitors, in keeping with an ancient Jewish custom


No comments:

Post a Comment