When I Cry, I Cry for Both of Us – Israeli Politics and the Eurovision

Everything you do or say in Israel can be construed as political, from the paper you read to the lunch you eat. It’s no wonder, then, that so many songs sent to represent Israel at the Eurovision song contest over the years have raised quite a bit of ruckus on the way. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane:
In 1974, just after the Yom Kippur war, Israeli band Kaveret sang at Brighton, UK, “There’s enough air for a country or two”. In 1983, a decade after the Olympics massacre and half a century after WWII, singer Ofra Haza, in front of a German audience in Munich, sang “I am still alive”. In 1991 at Rome, Italy, a singing Duo Datz wished whoever comes ‘Ahalan’ in Arabic, but stated they were born ‘here’ and so were their children. At the 2000 contest in Stockholm, Sweden, things got so hectic that the band Ping-Pong were disavowed by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority after insisting on waving an Israeli and a Syrian flag (and some cucumbers). In 2007 at Helsinki, Finland, Israeli band Teapacks warned the world that you-know-who is “gonna push the button”.

Held this week in Moscow, Russia, the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest will include another political song from Israel, but one that is quite sober and realistic. Sung by “an Arab girl who looks Jewish and a Jewish girl who looks Arab” this song might not win Europe over, but I believe singers and songwriters Noa and Mira Awad will make many Israelis proud by their simple statement in English, Hebrew and Arabic: There must be another way:


There Must Be Another Way – Noa & Mira Awad – Lyrics

 
English:
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
Arabic:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
Arabic:
 
 
English:
 
 
 
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
 
English Translation:
There must be another
Must be another way
 
Your eyes, sister
Say everything my heart wants to say
We’ve come a great distance
Our road has been long and hard
Hand in hand
 
And the tears fall, flow, in vain
Our pain has no name
We are both waiting
For the day ‘after’
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
 
Your eyes say
One day, the fear will be gone
In your eyes there is determination
That we can continue
Our journey
For as long as it takes
 
For there is no address to sorrow
I cry to the open plains
To the merciless sky
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way
 
A long and hard journey
Lies before us
Together, on our way to the light
Your eyes say
All the fear will someday disappear
 
And when I cry I cry for both of us
My pain has no name
And when I cry I cry
To the merciless sky and say
There must be another way
 
And the tears fall, flow, in vain
Our pain has no name
We are both waiting
For the day ‘after’
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way
Phonetic:
 
 
 
Eina’ih, ahot
Kol ma shelibi mevakesh omrot
Avarnu ad ko
Dereh aruka, dereh ko kasha
Yad beyad
 
Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
Ke’ev lelo shem
Anahnu mehakot
Rak layom sheyavo ahrei
 
 
 
 
Aynaki bit’ul
Rah yiji yom wu’kul ilkhof yizul
B’aynaki israr
Inhu ana khayar
N’kamel halmasar
Mahma tal
 
Li’anhu ma fi anwan wakhid l’alahzan
B’nadi lalmada
L’sama al’anida
 
 
 
 
 
 
Derech aruka na’avor
Derech ko kasha
Yachad el ha’or
Aynaki bit’ul
Kul ilkhof yizul
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
Ke’ev lelo shem
Anahnu mehakot
Rak layom sheyavo ahrei
 
 
 
 

Update:
May 12, 2009 – Israel qualified for the final contest. Russian host Andrey Malakhov: “The most political-correct [sic] song goes to the final! Congrats Israel”.
May 17, 2009 – As expected, Europe did not fall in love and with 53 points Israel has finished in 16th place.