Friday, December 30, 2016

Nefesh Mountain Sets Woody Guthrie's Hanukkah Lyrics to Music


Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie was an American singer-songwriter and musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional, and children's songs, along with ballads and improvised works. His best-known song is This Land Is Your Land.

It's not well known that Woody Guthrie also wrote the lyrics to Chanukah songs. Woody moved to Coney Island in 1942 and spent much of his time learning from and collaborating with his Jewish mother in law and Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt. He identified with the stories and hardships of the Jewish people inspiring him to write these unique and powerful poems and songs. Though these works and Jewish writings were little known at the time, their rediscovery by his daughter Nora Guthrie paints a fuller picture of Woody as a writer, social activist, and humanitarian.

Woody Guthrie wrote the lyrics to Hanukkah's Flame but never himself actually set these beautiful words to music. Nefesh Mountain, the new bluegrass group founded by husband and wife team Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff, arranged the music by Frank London to Woody's inspirational words.

The video was recorded and filmed in the quiet Chapel at Beth Elohim in Park Slope Brooklyn with Alan Grubner on Violin and Tim Kiah on Bass.

Enjoy, Shabbat shalom, and Happy Chanukah!

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.




8 comments:

  1. I believe Woody Guthrie's wife was Jewish.

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  2. the story states his mother in law was jewish, and thus his wife was a jew.

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  3. i love the lyrics but dont like the music. not catchy at all. i am a blue grass fan but this just doesnt do it. we need Sam Goldstein of Merion Pennsylvania to write music for it. it would be catchier. how do i get in touch with this group?

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  4. i went to google nefesh mountain and i dont get a phone number or any contact info, just you tubes of the music. how do i find contact info? any ideas?

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  5. Love the music and the words. Thank you for sharing.
    Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach.

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  6. So beautiful, I love the nefesh mountain group! Thank you.

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  7. The title is not quite accurate - the Woody Guthrie Chanukah songs were "set to music" and released by the Klezmatics some years ago - here's their version of this song - a different approach:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFor5amK7wY
    If you want to create a new melody to the words, you probably need to work with the Woody Guthrie estate, not these performers.
    (But if you want to contact Nefesh Mountain - try this: http://www.mamadoni.com/contact-1/ )
    Happy Chanukah!

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