Sunday, August 2, 2009

As-salaam (round)

tune by
Carole Rose Livingston (c) 1988

As-salaam 'alaykum.
Wa-'alaykum as-salaam. (2x)

Peace be upon you.
And upon you be peace. (2x)

Ma as-salamah. (4x)

May you go in peace. (4x)

Introducing "As-salaam":

I wrote "As-salaam" because I think it is racist to imagine that Israelis yearn for peace and Palestinians don't.

"As-salaam" is in Arabic. It can be sung as a round, and it can be accompanied very effectively on an Arabic drum. You can also dance the hora, to "As-salaam." I did not write it this way by accident. The hora, a circle dance, is the national dance of Israel, and the unifying dance of Jews around the world. I'm truly hoping that what goes around comes around.

In 1989, the War Resisters League had a twleve-hour dance marathon--everything from salsa to square dancing. One portion of the event was a twelve-minute long "Peace Hora," danced to a medley of songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, and English. "As-salaam" was in the medley, along with "Hava Nagila," "Hevenu Shalom Aleichem," "Zum Gali Gali," "Shalom Chaverim," "Lomir Alle Freillach Zein," and another of my songs, "Shalom ve Salaam." On another memorable occasion, "As-salaam" was sung by the congregation at a Jewish feminist shabbot (sabbath) service.

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