Linda, Linda

Yesterday I had a picnic with some colleagues from work.

For some odd reason, it took me back to the picnics I used to have with my folks in the Carmel forests when I was a kid. Not that the one yesterday resembled it in any way. I guess the sitting on the grass, the nice cool breeze… something triggered a burst of nostalgia.

I didn’t share it at the time with my colleagues, for fear that uncontrollable laughter combined with finger pointing might ensue, but one thing that popped to mind was a Haim Moshe tune. As my friends and I were getting tipsy on Cabarnet  and Gewürztraminer on a gorgeous day in HaYarkon Park – I was simultaneously in 1983 in the back of my folk’s Volkswagen Brasilia, singing along with the radio that was blasting a Haim Moshe song.

1983 was a big year for Haim Moshe. He was one of the first Mizrahi singers to really go mainstream. In other words, he made the white folk dance. And he did it with style – his first hit album, “Love of my Life”, was mostly in – get this – Arabic. His music was everywhere. Especially the picnic grounds. I even read somewhere he was a hit in Cairo.

He wasn’t like most of the Mizrahi singers today, who say they sing “Mediterranean” music, who basically steal Greek songs and turn them into trash. No, Mizrahi music today isn’t what it used to be. Kind of like American country music has lost itself somewhere between Garth Brooks and Shania Twain.

Back then Mizrahi had soul. It really did.

And back then, just a year after I came back from the States to Israel, a 10-year-old who was still struggling with his Hebrew, I was singing the chorus to Haim Moshe’s “Linda, Linda” mega-hit – in Arabic. Not only did I not understand a word of what I was saying, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know that it wasn’t even Hebrew to begin with.

Let the good times roll…

Linda, Linda, ya Linda,

Leili issara anda

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yurNU5XFMuc

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