Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ze Lo Hashuv - A Star Called Sun

A heavy morning after a bloody weekend, which started with the brutal murder of Eitam and Na'ama Henkin while driving with their children in the West Bank and ended with two shootings in Jerusalem's Old City, leaving 2 dead and 3 wounded. While we've become used to terror attacks, there's been a shift in the air with a dreaded uncertainty of how things will continue from here.

When I first read the lyrics for this song, I felt that it could have been written here and now. The only hint to a translation are the words "white snow and grey ice". I was struck by how piercing the lyrics are and with the video I couldn't help but think of the Henkins' last ride, which left a very chilling feeling. But the car in the video can also be referring to the one Victor Tsoi was driving when he tragically died at 28 in 1990. Tsoi wrote the lyrics to this song, as part of his hugely popular Soviet rock band Kino, famous for its Western post-rock sound and messages of freedom . As this clip by Ze Lo Hashuv ("It's not important" in Hebrew) shows, Tsoi's words are still very relevant today and with their pure honesty continue to touch the hearts of many listeners.

White snow and grey ice, on cracked rocky terrain
Covered with a patchwork quilt, a city with a loop in the road.

And above the city clouds are floating, hiding the divine light.
And above the city yellow smoke, a city two thousand years old
Which lived under the light of a star called the Sun.

And there's a war over two thousand years, a war without an excuse and reason
The war is, for the young, a medicine against wrinkles

Red, red is the blood, after an hour, it's again earth.
After two hours there are grass and flowers, after three, it's alive again
Receiving heat from the light of a star called the Sun.

Yes it is known that this is how it always was, that fate wants the one,
Who obeys other laws and those who die young.

I don't remember the words yes and no, don't remember the ranks and names
Just reach to the stars, and don't think that it's a dream,
And then fall, burned from the light of a star called the Sun

*The translation here aims to be a direct translation from the Hebrew version. An English translation from the Russian original can be found here, with the original song.

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