Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Ba Ni Bi Takes Root In The Far East: It's Showtime In Singapore!

Last month we wrote about the surprising success of A Ba Ni Bi, the seemingly silly song that won Israel the first prize in the Eurovision Song Festival in 1978.  The blog post included videos of the original performance by Izhar Cohen, the complete lyrics, and a dance version at a wedding in Malaysia.

As we mentioned then, the song is cleverly written in S'fat HaBet (B Language,) an Israeli variation of Pig Latin.  The phrase Aba Nibi Obo Hebev Obo Tabach is simply Ani Ohev Otach (I Love You) with the suffixes ba, bi, bo, and beh appended to each syllable.  If it were sung in English, the words would be Iby Lubuve Youboo.  But nobody sings it that way.

Now the song has made its way to Singapore, where earlier this year it was performed on stage at River Hongbao 2010, a nine-day festival celebrating the Chinese New Year and welcoming the Year of the Tiger. 

What all this has to do with Hebrew pig latin and silly love song is anybody's guess, but if it brings joy around the world, who can complain?  And there are even more versions to come in Jewish Humor Central's Summer of A Ba Ni Bi.  Enjoy!

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