Commentary Magazine


The Tune of “Hatikvah”

To the Editor:

I would like to inform you that the “tune of uncertain origin” to which the words of “Hatikvah” were written, mentioned in your interesting article about Imber (“The Bohemian Who Wrote Hatikvah,” January), is the tune of a very old Rumanian popular song:

Maize, with thy leaves high
Gone you are, and gone forever
. . . .

(Cucuruz cu Pana’n sus
Dusu-mi-te-ai si te-ai dus
. . . .)

Imber had lived in Rumania and must have known this popular tune. (Smetana’s similar melody is probably only a reminiscence of the Rumanian song.)

Henry Marcus
Jerusalem, Israel

_____________

 

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