Monday, June 20, 2011

Zum Gali Gali, Hora Song, Gets a New Life in Korea

We always get a kick out of finding unusual renditions of Hebrew and Yiddish songs, like the version of Hava Nagila sung by a burlesque dancer in Thailand and the disco version of A Ba Ni Bi sung at a wedding in Malaysia.

It's been awhile since we heard the old Israeli pioneer song, Zum Gali Gali. Most likely it was when our kids were singing and dancing at the Zimriah and Rikudiah at Camp Ramah in the 1980s.

But it's resurfaced in Korea. No, we're not kidding. We found it on YouTube the same day we were reading an article by Lenore Skenazy in The Forward about the decline in teaching Israeli dance at schools and camps.

In this video the Goyang Civic Choir of South Korea is not dancing the hora, but they're singing Zum Gali Gali in a medley of Hora songs, including Rad HaLaila.

At first we thought they were singing in Korean, but after listening a few times, we're pretty sure that they're singing in English, with a Korean accent.

We can't quite make out the English words, but here, in transliteration, are the Hebrew words to Zum Gali Gali and Rad HaLaila.

Zum Gali Gali 
Zum, gali-gali-gali, Zum gali-gali,
Zum, gali-gali-gali, Zum gali-gali,

Hechalutz lema'an avodah
avodah lema'an hechalutz
Hechalutz lema'an avodah
avodah lema'an hechalutz

Rad Halailah
Rad halailah, rav shireinu
haboke'a lashamaim,
shuvi shuvi horateinu,
mechudeshet shiv'ataim.
Shuvi shuvi venasov,
ki darkeinu ein lah sof,
ki od nimshechet hasharsheret,
ki libeinu lev echad
me'olam ve'adei ad,
ki od nimshechet hasharsheret.

Enjoy the concert!


  1. That is the most beautiful arrangement of both songs that I've ever heard. And what a beautifully trained choir!

  2. Dancing, singing, voices ringing,
    Songs of joy now fill the air.
    Crash the cymbal, circle round,
    Beat the drum, let joy abound,
    Sing out with voices loud and clear.
    Ev'ryone with spirits gay,
    Whirl and twirl the hours away,
    Dance on, let sadness disappear.