Saturday, October 25, 2014

All The Men Are Gone

To listen to All The Men Are Gone, click here




All the men are gone, all the men are gone
What will you do mama when all the men are gone?

Some have taken wives, some their own lives
Some have taken planes, and some of them new names
What will you do mama when all the men are gone?

Some of them in tears, some of them in fear
Some for other gods, some well just because

Some of them for cash, some as smoke and ash
Some of them for right, some of them for wrong

Some of them so brave, some of them as slaves
Some of them with guns, some of them with bombs

Some of them in pain, some in driving rain
Some before the Flood, some in wrath of God

Some of them diseased, some in search of peace
Some of them in hate, some of them in love

Some for your defense, some in arrogance
Some on the Hermon, some in Lebanon








The morning of June 6th 1982, fifteenth anniversary of the outbreak of the 6 Day War, morning of the invasion of southern Lebanon - the so-called War of Peace for Galilee. The kibbutz was deserted except for the women and children, those too old or sick to fight, and those foreigners who, like myself, were allowed only a passive participation in the war. I sat in my room trying to work out why all the men had gone, and did not like any of the answers I came up with.



A country at war could be almost anywhere in the world, and usually is. Those wishing to universalise this song should simply delete the final couplet; those wishing to personalise it might be glad of some help in finding suitable rhymes; Somme-Rouen, Mekong-Saigon, Kreznakovsk-Brest Litovsk etc







If you would like to include "All The Men Are Gone" in your repertoire, either for paid public performance or to record for commercial purposes, or if you would like to re-use the recordings attached to this blog-page for commercial purposes, contact argaman@theargamanpress.com. 
Use of this song, and/or these recordings, for non-commercial purposes, is not simply permitted but invited.



Words and music by David Prashker
Copyright © 2014 David Prashker


All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

The Covenant

To listen to The Covenant, click here









There were stones that broke the windows
There were fires in the cellars, it was almost noon
And I don’t believe in God
But the sign upon my house said I'm a Jew
They held me till my body’s veil was torn
There was weeping in the village, there was thunder in the mountains
There was blood and there was fire and there was storm

And on the blood of my forefathers
On the dry bones of Masada
On the bodies of my children I do swear
That I’ll see you, I’ll see you, I’ll see you
In Jerusalem next year

The desert sun was burning
It carved a pyramid upon my feet
And my heart was tired of searching
And the sign upon the gate said "Work Makes Free"
There was oil for the candles, there were ovens primed for cooking
There was meat that had grown fat upon the bone
But my eyes were blind with tears, my heart was sick with fever
My hand upon the law was carved in stone

Who will be my witness
Who will not forget to call my name
My skin is made of lampshades
The temple of my spirit rocks with pain
I'm the one who killed your Saviour, I put poison in your water
I carried off your child and ran him through
But you will not find me kneeling, no you will not hear me wailing
I’m proud to sing out loud "I am a Jew"

No your ghettos cannot hold me
Your laws cannot deny me – I’m a Jew
And your fire will not tame me
Your wire will not chain me – I’m a Jew
From the graves my song is rising, pure and free of all despising
My heart protects, my spirit calls the Name
Israel fell in blood and fire, Israel now in blood and fire
Shall rise, and rise, and rise again


According to legend, when the Israelites fled out of Egypt and crossed the Sinai desert, their way was lit by a pillar of smoke in the daytime and a pillar of fire by night. The pillar guided their destiny; the fire marked it - the flames of a thousand future pogroms.










If you would like to include "The Covenant" in your repertoire, either for paid public performance or to record for commercial purposes, or if you would like to re-use the recordings attached to this blog-page for commercial purposes, contact argaman@theargamanpress.com. 
Use of this song, and/or these recordings, for non-commercial purposes, is not simply permitted but invited.



Words and music by David Prashker
Copyright © 2014 David Prashker

All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Song For Eli

To listen to Song For Eli, click here




I had a friend who went to war
A man of peace and not the sword
They brought him home one day
A bullet in his chest
May his memory be blessed

In the name of all the winds
In the name of all his friends
From the east down to the west
May his memory be blessed

Then take this song as your bequest
May your spirit lie at rest
And from the east down to the west
May your memory be blessed




This was my first song on and for the piano. I wrote it about two years after Eli was blown up in an ambush in a bus taking milhouimnikim - Israeli reservists - to the Beqaa valley in Lebanon in 1982. The men who killed him were PLO fighters in the pay of the Syrians. The song took a long time, because I didn’t know who to blame for his death. The PLO I exonerated, since their cause was just and Eli had been sent into battle as a soldier to kill them. Their Syrian paymasters I exonerated, because they were themselves in the pay of the Soviet Union; just as I exonerated the Soviets, who were simply the victims of their own propaganda. The makers of the bullet I exonerated, since their aim wasn’t death but profit; God had declared Himself immune from prosecution; the driver of the ambushed lorry was only obeying orders; and War itself was far too abstract a phenomenon to bear the blame for Man's stupidities. In the end I had no one but Eli himself to accuse, since everyone else had been vindicated, and all men protest their innocence.












If you would like to include "Song For Eli" in your repertoire, either for paid public performance or to record for commercial purposes, or if you would like to re-use the recordings attached to this blog-page for commercial purposes, contact argaman@theargamanpress.com. 
Use of this song, and/or these recordings, for non-commercial purposes, is not simply permitted but invited.


Words and music by David Prashker
Copyright © 2014 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press