Chad Gadya

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Aramaic: חַד גַדְיָא, "one little goat" or "one kid". Circle dance by Tamir Shalev, 2015.

The melody is that of "Alla Fiera dell'Est" (At the Eastern Fair) by Italian pop star Angelo Branduardi from his 1976 album of the same name. The Italian lyrics are by Branduardi's wife, Luisa Zappa (probably no relation to Frank Zappa). The lyrics almost exactly translate the Passover song, substituting a mouse for a kid.

In 1989, Chava Alberstein released a version with Branduardi's melody and the traditional lyrics in Hebrew translation. She added a final verse that treats the repetitive violence of the song as metaphor for the cycle of violence permeating the occupation of the West Bank, in protest of Israel's actions. ("I [Israel] was once a sheep and tranquil kid / Today I'm a tiger and a ravening wolf.") As a result, the song was banned by the Israel Broadcasting Authority.[1] [2] Alberstein herself was subject to boycott and death threats. Upon appeal, the ban was cancelled and the song continued to be broadcast.

It is noteworthy that in Alberstein's lyrics the Angel of Death gets the last word; God is absent and does not perform the final killing.

There is no indication that the choreographer's use of the song is part of any political statement.



Branduardi performs Alla Fiera dell'Est in concert

Lyrics (both Italian and English) to Branduardi's song

Chava Alberstein performs her version; lyrics in original Hebrew and English translation

A powerful performance of the full song by third-year students of the Goodman Theater and Acting School of the Negev

Chad Gadya at
Video at Rokdim