Write me: rjn@richardjnewman.com

My moth­er sent me the link to this music video by 8th Day. The music is great, but what made me smile the most was the lit­tle boy in peyos and a sweat­shirt with a Bat­man patch bop­ping to the beat. I also real­ly appre­ci­ate the mix­ing of Sephardic and Ashke­naz­ic lan­guage and ref­er­ences through­out. Accord­ing to this dis­cus­sion on Jew­ish Lyrics, Ya’alili:

is a com­bi­na­tion of the sepharadic “Ya’lah”, a com­mon phrase in sephardic songs which rough­ly trans­lates as “come on”, and “li li li”, a com­mon filler in yid­dish songs (BTW, the word for ‘song’ in yid­dish is “leid”).

The lyrics–though it’s worth read­ing the whole dis­cus­sion at the above link–can be rough­ly trans­lat­ed as fol­lows:

Ya’alili, dance my beloved

It should be for­tu­nate, may it be,
G-d will­ing, it will be

The bride­groom, sephar­di
the attrac­tive bride, ashke­nazi

Moth­er Imeinu [our moth­er] sephar­di,
Mama Rachel, ashke­nazi

Baba Sal­li [a famous rab­bi] sephar­di,
Rab­bi Nach­man, ashke­nazi

It should be for­tu­nate, may it be,
G-d will­ing, it will be

Ya’alili, dance my beloved

Gina Gina sephar­di
may we hear more ashke­nazi

Yosef our father, sephar­di
the eith day, ashke­nazi

days for joy, sephar­di,
have a good yom tov, ashke­nazi

It should be for­tu­nate, may it be,
G-d will­ing, it will be

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