During my two years in Israel, I heard a lot of local music and found a few favourites. Not artists as such, but rather albums. Two in particular stayed with me for a long time, and to this day I react with pleasure when some quirk of the shuffle system plays songs from these albums unexpectedly. The first was Muscat by Shalom Hanoch and Arik Einstein, and the second was Ze hakol o klum by David Broza. I particularly liked this latter album so much, that I even went to a David Broza concert in the middle of the desert once. OF course all the songs were in Hebrew, so though I could pick out odd words here and there, the lyrics made no difference to me, and I treated the voice as just another instrument. I listened to Broza’s album incessantly, till even now my brain anticipates the song, and I can instantly recognize the song from a few seconds.
Today I was reading an article on Tablet magazine and an ad popped up for David Broza’s new album. So finally after more than a decade, I decided to see what his new music sounded like. And then I saw that he’d released a version of Ze Hakol o Klum in spanish (now called Todo o nada). Spotify is now in Mexico, and so I gave it a whirl, with no small amount of trepidation. How would the knowledge of what the song is about affect my feel for the music? If the lyrics were terrible, would I cease to listen to the hebrew music in the same way? Would the new knowledge add or subtract?
I heard my favourite songs again and with great relief, as I understood them for the first time, that no, it wasn’t as I feared. While it’s true that a lot of the mystery of the song’s contents vanished, I didn’t mind it at all. I quite enjoyed the spanish versions. It was like seeing a familiar face with a beard, or identical twins wearing different clothes. The funny thing was that my brain kept trying to autocomplete the songs in my head, and failing. Flailing. So now I have both versions and it’ll be interesting to see which I prefer in the days to come.
Here’s a performance on Youtube (Hebrew version):
And here’s the same song, in Spanish