Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yaffa Yarkoni-In Praise of Kalia

On Sunday, with the start of the new year, the nation woke up to the sad news of Yaffa Yarkoni's passing away at the age of 86. I always associate Yarkoni with memorial days and war songs because that's how she became famous- by singing for the troops during the wars and raising their morale. Only with the news of her death I found out that she harshly criticized the army in 2002 after an operation in Gaza comparing soldiers to nazis. I understand the storm she created and the fact that many fallen soldier's families felt hurt and even betrayed, but I do admire her for bravely speaking her mind even if I don't agree with her views. She said that she wanted to be remembered as the singer of Israel not the singer of wars and I can understand. I came across a great article focusing on the other side of Yarkoni's music-the side that experimented with funk, soul and jazz. Among the tracks I'm especially fond of this one-Yaffa sounds wonderful and at first I thought it was some chill electro remix but it's actually the original from 1974 and has a truly timeless sound. Mr. Shimon Peres wrote the lyrics praising the kibbutz Kalia situated near the Dead Sea and I hope I did justice with the translation.

Behind the scenes of everything, Kalia puts on her makeup
Purple during sunset
Gray in her thoughts
Very blue in her wake
And her shores are blurry,
Dressed up in her valleys
Very far in her horizons.
A city of refuge, a region of imagination, control of the end,
A desperate hope.
Her mountains are males her suitors muscular, unannounced.
Behind the scenes of everything, Kalia is putting on her makeup.

Her smell is ancient
Her temptations relaxed
You can travel to her, but not get to her,
A jewel in the plain, a modern picture
Suddenly lit, but not ignited
Sometimes lit, but not unknown,
A landscape in reserve.
As beautiful as a woman and hiding in sadness
Behind the scenes of everything Kalia puts on her makeup




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