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  • Hesh Meister

Lyric of the Week: SONG FOR JERUSALEM

I walk out on my terrace high in the trees Take a look at the six o’clock sun as I take in the sweet breeze Gazing at the mountains in the morning mist I don’t think I can ever get tired of waking up to this When I see you from far away my feelings start to soar I get that warm feeling all over like I never felt before My heart starts beating faster as I come through your door The feeling is true I’m in love with you

I take a walk on the promenade on a Saturday afternoon The sunlight on the skyline makes me think of an old tune From the hustle and bustle of the center of town

to the wide green park The walls the towers and the city gates

all have a special place in my heart The light fades away at the end of the day

like the climax of a magnum opus Sunset spills on the rolling hills

I say hello from on top of Mount Scopus Night falls and you radiate a pink halo in the sky There are always tears in my eyes when I have to say goodbye Don’t cry …

Oooooooh all right The streets of the city come alive tonight Oooooooh all right The Old City walls shine golden tonight When I first met you it was love at first sight

People try to cut you down, say you belong to someone else But no matter what anyone says I’m gonna keep you for myself People try to hurt you from without and from within The world outside can interfere but it can never win There’s a cancer growing in your heart but I’m here to take it away Trouble all around you all the time but it can never scare me away They tried destroying you many times

but the fact is you’re still here today No matter what they try to do They won’t succeed in killing you

It’s so hard to believe that all there was were wars and riots When I walk through the streets of the City of Peace

and all is still and quiet Across the sea they’re scared to come here

they think there’s danger in the streets All they watch is the bad news on TV

why don’t they watch the heart that beats? When I was a little boy I’d always say I’d be with you next year But since I saw your face I know I wanna be with you always right here You are my iron gate and I am your key You’re the one, you’re the only one, with who I wanna be You belong to me …

Oooooooh all right The streets of the city come alive tonight Oooooooh all right The Old City walls shine golden tonight When I first met you it was love at first sight

Flags wave high over everybody’s head To celebrate the day east and west sides were wed Feel the elation rising higher and higher Like a city burned to the ground in fire

and rose from the wreckage in fire Sing a song for you Jerusalem sing a new song Sing a new song about freedom from all those who done you wrong For all the strangers who play your superintendent Sing it loud and show the world you’re truly independent

Oooooooh all right The Old City alleys come alive tonight Oooooooh all right The Western Wall shines golden tonight

Fireworks hail over the festival crowd Dancing in the street to the music playing loud In the Liberty Bell Garden there’s a party going on The music won’t stop till well past dawn Take a ride around Zion, count all the towers The holiday celebration will go on for hours Feel the pulse of the city in ascension It’s only the beginning of the final redemption

Oooooooh all right Jaffa Road and King George burst with life tonight Oooooooh all right The city streets are lit with party lights

Summer’s getting hot in the city but it’s all right ‘Cause summer’s when she’s really looking pretty and it’s all right Jerusalem of gold and copper, city of light On the walls I posted guards all day and all night Don’t ever let me forget you no matter how much time goes by If I ever do forget you let my right hand wither and die Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth

if I don’t come back to you I’m at the top of my happiness when I’m with you

and you know I’ll always be true I love you …

Oooooooh all right The streets of the city come alive tonight Oooooooh all right The Old City walls shine golden tonight When I first met you it was love at first sight

©2017 The Hesh Inc.

The Old City walls shine golden tonight.

This is my own bout of Jerusalem Syndrome, which bit me hard (albeit not enough to land me in the local loony bin) when I first started going to school in the Holy City in October 1981, shortly after the beginning of my junior year in high school. My father and I had been looking for a new school to replace the dump in Rehovot where I had been failing (G-d bless my dad for realizing that it had more to do with the quality of the school than the student) and we found out about this place by word of mouth. We rode into the city early one evening and before we even reached our destination I was all but overwhelmed by an intangible feeling that I never felt before that, or anywhere else in the world.

I was accepted to the school and shortly after beginning my time there I began to step out, off campus, to discover the city on my own. I would walk from the school's neighborhood, Kiryat Moshe in the western reaches of the city, and go to the downtown area, to the Old City, and (one weekend) clear across the city to East Talpiot, all on foot. Sure I could have ridden the buses during the week. But there was a specialness to exploring and absorbing the city while walking it from one end to the other.

Like many writers who have come before me and wanted to express their feelings and describe their experiences, I attempted to do the same (but could not begin to scratch the surface of what the feeling was actually like). I already had a 'Jersey Shore'-style piano motif in my head, to which I added the verses and choruses ("Oooooooh all right" etc.), and a middle section glommed from early Kansas. Like many of my earlier songs, it was played to the four walls and in my head, but never to a live audience or in a studio.

Later on, my musical partner Izzy Kieffer and I edited the lyrics and pasted them onto a completely different melody, from a song called "She's The One, Pt 2" (again with the Jersey influence!) that we had played many times in our bands and as a duo. But by that time, although it was still a 'song for Jerusalem,' it was a different song altogether.

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