• The Hesh

Lyric of the Week: SONG FOR JERUSALEM

Updated: May 22

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 Western Wall shines golden tonight.

In October 1981, shortly after I began my junior year, I transferred from the dump of a high school I had hitherto attended in Rehovot to a much better school in Jerusalem. The school was better for four reasons: (1) The language spoken was English. (2) The students were much more like me. (3) It was in the city, away from the podunk town I couldn't get out of fast enough. (4) It was in not just any city, but THE City — the holiest city, Jerusalem!

The day I rode into town, when scouting out the school several weeks before I began studying there, I could feel something different in the air. Something intangible that I could not feel anywhere else in the world, even elsewhere in Israel. I mentioned it to my mother when I returned home that evening; she said it was probably Ruach HaKodesh — the divine Spirit. Whatever it was, I felt it, and wanted to be in it the whole time. Thus began my love affair with the city of Jerusalem. Sure, as a Jew, growing up in an Orthodox environment in the USA and in Israel, I knew and learned about its significance to the Jewish people. But now I felt it, in a way that no rabbi, book, or Torah class could describe or encapsulate.

And from that point forward, Jerusalem was the center of my life: spiritually, physically, socially, creatively. It was where I began playing in bands and taking my first musical steps into a larger world. When I was doing my service in the IDF, I would take advantage of passes, furloughs, and any other excuse I could find to spend my time in Jerusalem, even if it added miles and hours to my travels and reduced the amount of time I'd spend with family.

I got married in the city in June 1988, shortly after my discharge from the service, and moved to the USA a week later. My life then became centered, for the most part, around the Jersey Shore and, later, Los Angeles. But I never forgot, and never would forget, the city of Jerusalem and place it above my highest joy, in keeping with the unforgettable words of Psalm 137. I traveled back to Israel a number of times since moving the USA, and each time I made it my business to visit the city. How could I not?

It is my hope and dream to return there for good, while I still have a few good years of life left in me.

As for the song ... this is the original "Song For Jerusalem," which I began writing the music for shortly after I arrived in the city in 1981 and began to dive in to the social and music scenes there. The first four verses and chorus I wrote during my two years of high school; subsequent verses and choruses were added over the next several years, and I finished the whole thing during the latter half of my military service, in 1987 or so. It is a classic Hesh epic, beginning as a piano ballad, then picking up in tempo and instrumentation, proceeding through a wild interlude, and then ending up with the declaration in the last verse and the recapitulatory last chorus for a big finish. This version was never recorded, nor played anywhere outside of my four walls.

In the 2010s, however, my musical partner Izzy Kieffer and I created a second "Song For Jerusalem," with most of the above lyrics stripped down to their barest essentials and the music repurposed from another song we had performed years earlier in our band Freedom Is Priceless. We recorded it at several studios in the New York/New Jersey area and created a video (filmed by Motty Engel and including brass player extraordinaire Danny Flam) that debuted in 2016, in time for Jerusalem Day, the 49th anniversary of the city's reunification.

Simpler words, completely different music, but still fun.

And today, the day I post this, is the day of the 50th anniversary of the Holy City under its rightful, eternal, Divinely promised Jewish ownership. May the city always remain the undivided, unquestioned, undisputed capital of the Jewish people and nation.

#originallyrics #video #Jerusalem #YomYerushalayim #Yerushalayim

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