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Lyric of the Week: SIGGY BOOM BOOM BAH

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

(a/k/a “The Reggae Song”)

I met a rabbi’s son who sing and play the blues

Listen to his story, man, you know he pay his dues

Three chords and the truth, he locked and loaded in the groove

And when he hit the stage, he got that southland shmoove

I met a rapper, he know how to talk the talk

His word is gold, and he also walk the walk

Every Tuesday night he show you how to rock

He go, yo yo yo, for the king of shlock

I met the boys who have the coolest band

They come from The Moshav in the holy land

When I say “spiritual groove” this is who I mean

They be at the center of this whole new scene

The frontman sing the lead like he leading a prayer

When he get into it he totally take me there

Listen to him singin’ Lord get me hah

He singin’ (siggy boom boom bah)!

I met a guitarist, he ask where his homeboys at

Don’t know if he better with a tele or a strat

But I know that he a spiritual man

And when he say he fear the name, it’s a big bam bam

I met a learned man who know the score

He teach the way the way you never hear before

He say call him by his name when I mistake him by title

He write for the screen but he really know his Bible

I met a wise man who once ride a crazy horse

He know his stuff and he can give it from the source

He say there’s a time to lay back and be mellow

And there’s a time to let out a big Breslov bellow

These are the legends in my own backyard

They been to the show and they carry the card

But they unpretentious, with no fah-fah-fah

They just (siggy boom boom bah)!

I fell in with a band named for my town back east

They saw how I knew my stuff, I was their missing piece

They took me out to lunch one fine afternoon

They told me who they really were and offered me the moon

It would have been the door into a whole new gig

Believe me when I tell you it would have been big

I had to turn it down when I considered what the job was

It killed me to do it but I DON’T PLAY ON SHABBOS!

And my new best friend, who was all about the music

I gave him a tape, I figured maybe he could use it

After three weeks I finally got him on the blower

He say “don’t worry, man, I didn’t pass you over”

What can I tell you about “the industry”

I didn’t look for it but it found me

My song was in a movie with such-and-such-a-stah

It’s called (siggy boom boom bah)!

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

Detail from "Dancing at the Happy Minyan," original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
The Happy Minyan in action.

This is all true! This song is all about some of the real people I met and real experiences I had within the first few months after moving to Los Angeles in the summer of 2003. The first two verses are all about some of the main characters I met when I began attending the Happy Minyan of LA, and the third verse is about my first two major musical escapades there—playing with a band disguised as a Bruce Springsteen tribute act but which turned out to really be the backing band and tech staff for the Doors of the 21st Century, and my participation in the soundtrack to the film When Do We Eat?

I always wanted to compose a song about the people I met at the Happy Minyan, and I wanted it to have a reggae groove, because during the first Yom Kippur I attended there, cantor Yehuda Solomon sang one of the liturgical poems to a Shlomo Carlebach tune that completely lent itself to that style. In spite of myself, and in spite of the solemnity of the occasion, I began bopping to the beat and playing air bass, right there in shul—something that would have earned me scowls and hisses in just about every synagogue I had ever been in up till that point—but the Happy Minyan being what it was and is, nobody looked at me askance or even thought that what I was doing was in any way wrong! I composed the tune several years after I left LA, at a piano in the living room of a house once called "Camp Shabbos" in my old hometown, Long Beach, NY, and when the time comes to record my opus about my time in LA, this song will be a part of it.

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