From the Album ATLANTIDISH Tunkl Gold
This old-new project of mine is dedicated as usual to the songs of our Atlantis, Yiddishland. Hence its name. I dedicate this album in love to the great lyric poet Itzik Manger. May 2020 marks his 120th birthday. Thus the heroine of this album is the poet’s favorite creature, an enchanted bird called the Golden Peacock.
The Golden Peacock came into the Yiddish poetry from an ancient folk song. A young woman mourns her unhappy marriage and compares herself to a golden peacock (in Yiddish “Pave” is feminine),
who dropped a golden feather on a strange land, a lonely bird without a nest, over the endless sea.
And the music is all gold as well: it’s the golden guitar of Alexei Belousov, one of the best guitarists in the world. This new album was born out of about 15 years of joint creation.
A lot of gold is there on this disk. But it’s not that burning metal that brings disgrace, but rather gold as a particle of the sun that has fallen on the earth, the eternal radiance of life. This is how it was seen, for example, by the medieval alchemists who sought the Philosopher's Stone as the first step in the path of humanity to a life of wholeness and eternity. Our Golden Peacock is a particle of that pure eternal glamour.
In Hebrew Phoenix is called “Hol”. The midrash interprets a verse from the Book of Job as referring to the Phoenix: "A bird called Hol, and no death was decreed upon it, as it did not taste the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Let us hope that this will also be the fate of Yiddish poetry...
The image of a flying golden peacock became a symbol of longing for love and beauty. Finally, it became the Jewish muse, the embodiment of inspiration and poetry itself. The Golden Peacock in flight competes in Manger’s poem with the gold
of the rising sun, whereas the dark sunset gold in his "Evening song" shines with the light of hidden beauty and wisdom. Thus, the immortal Phoenix, a pagan firebird, became a symbol of Yiddish poetry.
THE GOLDEN PEACOCK
an old Yiddish Folk Song
SONGS OF THE SEA
Lyrics - H. N. Bialik
(after the Hebrew poem by Yehuda Halevy)
Music - Moshe Shneor
From the Album Secret Guests
Lyrics - H. Grade
Music - Em. Haken
Guitar - Alexei Belousov
Recording, mix and mastering:
Edited by RUTH LEVIN