Nostalgia Sunday – Duets
Tonight is Erev Tu b’Av, the eve of a minor holiday that’s gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. To celebrate this so-called “Jewish Valentine’s Day” we present a few duets that are oldies but goodies. None of these male-female duos have stayed together (it’s a hard musical group structure to sustain) but the songs have withstood the test of time.
Perhaps it stemmed from Palmachnik prudishness but early Israeli romantic ballads were generally solo songs of longing sung by a lovesick youth, while boy-girl duets tended to be a bit hokey-jokey. Nonetheless, songs like Rina were hits — and the fashions can’t be beat.
Ani Holem al Naomi (I dream of Naomi) is a fun duet, performed by where-are-they-now duo Hedva and David. In its time, Naomi proved popular in other countries as well, with versions recorded in Korean and Japanese. More recently, a drag version was released.
Tni Li Yad (Give me your hand) is a very pretty song. Music is by the great Yoni Rechter with lyrics by Eli Moher, who performed the duet with his somewhat abashed daughter Sharon.
Pay no attention to the silly opener the precedes Shir Ahava Bedoui (Bedouin Love Song), one of the loveliest duets to come out of late 70s Israel. Try to ignore the costumes, too. Best to just shut your eyes, lean back and remember those summer nights on kibbutz…
Shuv (Once Again) is perhaps the most romantic of all Israeli duets. Performed by then husband and wife Josie Katz and Shmulik Krauss, the song describes the emotions of a couple reuniting after a long separation. This being Israel, the implication is that he has returned from reserve duty or perhaps a war. “Give me a moment… Let me catch my breath… Give me a chance to get used to you once again.”