Rona Kenan: New Song

Rona Kenan yesterday released a new song on Israeli radio, based on a poem by one of the greatest Israeli poets of all times, Avot Yeshurun.

Musicians Carmi Zisapple, Eran Weitz and Shai Tzabari, who invited Kenan to participate in a special project to create an album from Avot Yeshurun’s poetry, have written the music for the poems. While the music is influenced by various genres, from African music and folk to Moroccan and Hassidic music, the chosen text was the original text by Yeshurun, who was never afraid to speak his mind even when it wasn’t politically correct.

Avoth Yeshurun was the pen name of Yehiel Perlmutter, an acclaimed modern Hebrew poet. Many of Yeshurun’s poems allude to the guilt he felt for having left Europe before the Holocaust, leaving his home and family behind. His poetry is known for its broken phrasing, and combines Yiddish, Biblical and modern Hebrew, and slang used by various cultural groups in Israel, including phrases in Arabic, which he often uses ironically in criticism of the marginalization of Arabs and Arabic in Israeli culture.

The song that Rona Kenan sings on the album is “Behechabeh” (‘In Hiding’). This is the first song she has released on Israeli radio since her recent “A Wider Bridge US Mini Tour” with Tamar Eisenman last fall. Rona will also take part in a special concert celebrating the release of the album, next week in Tel Aviv.