Sunday, April 27, 2014

Amir Lev-Train

Amir Lev has been referred to as one of the country's finest storytellers, and for good reason. When I heard this song I felt I was travelling together with Amir easily understanding his mood-at first the images reminded me of the train ride from Tel Aviv to the South but I slowly realized the journey was much further away. It's so different from the usual encounter with the dark past that most of us face when we travel to Poland in high school. There's been ongoing debate about these trips and how they shape our collective memory and ultimately our national identity. I personally had great difficulty-not just with the chilling sights of the barracks and personal items but also with the extremeness of it all-we had "heavy" and "light" days and on the long bus rides with all of the chatter and Bamba I kept forgetting that we weren't on a regular class trip. But most of all I had difficulty with the immense pressure to cry with my friends, something I have never been comfortable with. Looking back I realize how incredibly silly,and selfish, this was-instead of concentrating on the tragedy I was concerned that I wasn't reacting with enough emotion. I think if I would have gone privately with just a close friend or two I would have seen things in a much different light-I would have had more time to comprehend and also to observe the fragile connection between the past and present. Amir Lev weaves strong emotions in a very gentle way-this isn't your typical Holocaust Remembrance Day song and it probably won't be heard at school ceremonies tomorrow but its music and lyrics leave a very powerful impression as well as the realization that the Holocaust is a deeper part of our lives than we think. By the way, another song which has left a surprisingly powerful impression on me is Michael Greilsammer's impromptu mash-up of Hatikva and the Game of Thrones theme, just in time for Independence Day.

On the train from the city we held hands
Factories, car lots
Later electrical power stations
And then began the fields

And we said wow when we passed the river
Wow to a tree by a boat
We got off with another couple who were surprised
That there was no shop at the station

Through the woman and scarf
Who took out mushrooms from the soil
I had to drink before the bridge
You loved me as if I built the castle

And the village is delicate and winding
A bakery out of a fairy tale
You told me to give up the meat
It is not appropriate here to eat dead animals

Glasses from the past at a second hand shop
We waited for the seller to wrap
Between the glass and the table
She sold there a yellow star

I cursed and we were silent on the way back
The train wasn't late
I noticed that it was an old train
And windowsills of at least sixty years

No comments:

Post a Comment