Hava Nagila – (“Let us rejoice”)

Hava Nagila (Hebrew: הבה נגילה‎, Havah Nagilah, “Let us rejoice”) is a Jewish folk song traditionally sung at Jewish celebrations . The melody is based on a Hassidic Nigun.[1] It was composed in 1918, to celebrate the Balfour Declaration and the British victory over the Ottomans in 1917. It was first performed in a mixed choir concert in Jerusalem.[2]
There are competing claims regarding Hava Nagila’s composer, with both Idelsohn and Nathanson being suggested.[3][4]

The niggun has been attributed to the Sadigurer Chasidim, who lived in what is now Ukraine.[3] This version has been recreated by Daniel Gil.[5] The text was probably refined by Idelsohn.[6] Members of the community began to immigrate to Jerusalem in 1915, and Idelsohn wrote in 1932 that he had been inspired by that melody.[2]

The lyrics are based on Psalm 118 (verse 24) of the Hebrew Bible.

The first commercial recording of the song was produced in Berlin in 1922.[2][https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hava_Nagila]

English translation


Hava nagila

Hava nagila

Hava nagila ve-nismeḥa

Hava neranenah

Hava neranenah

Hava neranenah ve-nismeḥa

Uru, uru aḥim!

Uru aḥim be-lev sameaḥ

Uru aḥim, uru aḥim!

Be-lev sameaḥ

English Translation

Let’s rejoice

Let’s rejoice

Let’s rejoice and be happy

Let’s sing

Let’s sing

Let’s sing and be happy


Awake, awake, my brothers!

Awake my brothers with a happy heart

Awake, my brothers, awake, my brothers!


With a happy heart

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