Discography 1

FOLK / Ethnic Yemenite~Israeli Music



In this group I would like to include also Ofrah's early albums with "Sadnat Teatron Shechunat Hatikvah", the complex from which she emerged.

1. Ahavah Rishonah
2. Vehutz Mizeh Hakol Beseder
3. Atik Noshan
4. Shir HaShirim Besha'ashu'im
5. Shirey Moledet 1
6. Shirey Moledet 2
7. Shirey Moledet 3
8. Shirey Teyman
9. The Governess

"AHAVAH RISHONAH" is the first album with Shechunat Hatikvah Workshop Theatre. In the songs lists that follow, those tracks signed with asterisk (
*) are sung by Ofrah as main voice or in duet.
Track list:

1. Ahavah Rishonah
2. Mi Li Yiten?
3. Mocher Haprachim
4. Kol Yisrael Chaverim
5. Shabazi
6. Yalla Yalla
7. Ga'aguyim
8. Shir Shabbat Teymani
9. Shir Hama'alot
10. Na'aleh Le'Artzeynu
11. Sar Hamemuneh
12. Kassach Po, Ve'kassach Sham
13. Shir Hashirim Besha'ashu'im
14. Shir 'Am Teymani

Specially beautiful is "Na'aleh le'Artzeynu" while "Shir'Am Teymani" will be released as "Eshal" in the albums "Shaday" and "Montreux Jazz Festival".

"VEHUTZ MIZEH HAKOL BESEDER" is her second album with the group. Track list:

1. Vehutz Mizeh Hakol Beseder
2. Azor Li
3. Neshikot Bayam
4. Bakasha
5. Roman Behemshechim
6. Machrozet Shirim Teymanim
7. Lo Amarta Li Davar
8. Halev Hashavur
9. Ahyah Asher Ahyah
10. Halachta
11. Bo Abba, Bo
12. Parashat Derachim
13. Chiuchim Baboker

The beautiful song "Halachta", sung here in duet, will be released again in Ofrah's second soloist album "Bo Nedaber".



"ATIK NOSHAN" is her last album with the group. Track list:

1. Shabbat Ha'malka
2. Deror Yikra
3. Agadlech
4. Chus Elohai
5. Adon Haselichot
6. Eli, Eli
7. Chilwi Wya'achali
8. Ha'perach She'naval
9. Hayta A'chat Ve'he Enenah
10. Ken, Na'arah
11. Imi, Imi
12. Shne' Shoshanim

The song "Chilwi Wya'achali" appears again in the album "Shirey Teyman", while "Shne' Shoshanim" in "Shirey Moledet 2"

"SHIR HASHIRIM BESHA'ASHU'IM", is an album inspired in the Bible book "Song of Songs of Solomon" - "Shir HaShirim". This is in fact her first solo album! Lyrics of the songs correspond to the Bible verses indicated between brackets.

1. Machol Ha'pilagshim
2. Shir Hashirim Besha'ashu'im
3. Balada LaMelech
4. Shir HaShirim LeShlomoh (Song of Songs 1:1-3)
5. Ani Yeshena Ve Libi Er (Song of Songs 5:2-6)
6. Hayafah Banashim (Song of Songs 5:9~)
7. Achot Lanu Ketana (Song of Songs 8:8-10)
8. Ahavah Beta'anugim (Song of Songs 4:10~)
9. Ro'eh Ba'shoshanim
10. Azah Ka'mavet Ahavah
* (Song of Songs 8:6-7)
11. Al Mishkavi Ba'leylot (Song of Songs 3:1-2)
12. Machol Ha'pilagshim (reprise)

* "Balada LaMelech", song dedicated to King David, was released again, with slight differences, in the album "Hai"
* "Azah Ka'mavet Ahavah" was released as "Love Song", a cappella, in the album "Shaday"; in this first version is sung with guitar accompaniment.

"SHIREY MOLEDET 1" - Israeli Folk Songs, the first of three albums by this name. Track list:

1. Yad 'Anugah
2. Zemer Nugeh
3. Yesh Li Gan
4. Na'ara Ushmah Kineret
5. Be'har HaGilboa
6. Ma Omrot Einaich
7. Na'amah
8. Etz Harimon
9. Hatz'rif Hakatan
10. Shirey Ro'im Ve'o'havim:
a. Shir Hashomer
b. Erev Shach
c. Ro'e Vero'a
d. Shir Hakad
e. Debkah Rafi'ach
Shirey 1 Poster

"SHIREY MOLEDET 2" - Israeli Folk Songs, released in a CD together with the first one. Track list:

1. Al Na Tomar Li Shalom
2. Hen Efshar
3. Shney Shoshanim
4. Becherem Teyman (Al Tifchadi Tamar)
5. Shedemati
6. Shiv'at Haminim
7. Hane'arim Hassapanim
8. Eshkolit
9. Irissim
10. Daber Elay Bifrachim
11. Shirey Kfar
a. Sham Shu'alim Yesh
b. Bif'at Hakfar
c. Debkah Hachamor
d. Al Giv'ot Sheich Abreik
e. Be'er Bassadeh

There's a remark I'd like to do, regarding two particular songs: "Hayta Achat Ve'he Enena" (in "Atik Noshan") and "Al Na Tomar Li Shalom" (in "Shirey Moledet 2"), they are two magnificently performed tangos! I'm very familiar with tango as I've been living also in Buenos Aires, and I can assert that such style is hardly becoming for a female voice. Undoubtedly, Ofrah has sung tango as no other woman! ...Ofra cantaba el tango como ninguna!

"SHIREY MOLEDET 3" - Israeli Folk Songs, the third album, contains:

1. David Ben-Gurion: The Declaration Of Independence
2. Laylah Bichna'an
3. Reach Tapu'ach Odem Shani
4. Ayelet A'havim
5. Bein Nehar P'rat U'nehar Chidekel
6. Balaylah
7. Hechalil
8. Haya Hu Afor
9. Aval Machar Echzor
10. Debkah Abayah
11. Hanokdim / Ma Yafim Ha'leylot
12. Bagalil, Betel-Chai
13. Hakotel

"Laylah Bichna'an" is another outstanding performance with very little musical accompaniment.


"SHIREY TEYMAN" - Yemenite Songs, an outstanding performance of ancient melodies and poems of the Jews of Yemen (Teyman). The first of Ofrah's albums that I knew. It was released a second time by the name of "Fifty Gates of Wisdom", from the lyrics of the poem "Ayelet Chen". Track list:

1. Im Nin'Alu
2. Yachilvi Veyachali
3. A'Salk
4. Tzur Manoti/Se'i Yona/Sapri Tama
5. Galbi
6. Ode Le'Eli
7. Lefelach Harimon
8. Ayelet Chen

"Im Nin'Alu" has been her greatest successful song, performed in many modern versions and remixes, as well as "Galbi". Most of these songs are in the dialect of Aramaic language spoken by Jews of Yemen, a tongue in which it would be unlikely to achieve international success except for Ofrah Haza.

Yemenite Jewish music: may be classified in three categories:

1) Liturgical, performed in the Synagogue, sung exclusively by men, in Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

2) Secular, songs of everyday life, sung only by women, in Yemenite-Hebrew dialect.

3) Diwan: is a collection of devotional poetry intended to be sung, which covers religious and secular subjects, performed on special occasions like wedding celebrations. The texts of the Diwan are written, but the music and dances are passed on in the oral tradition. Each oriental Jewish community has its own Diwan, but Yemenite is the richest collection. The poems of Diwan are composed in complex metre and rhyme, in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic.

A performance of Diwan has three main divisions: nashid, shira and hallel. Nashid is a prelude in free rhythm, never accompanied; shira (singing) is the central musical topic at the gathering and is danced; hallel (praise), is sung by dancers and chorus.
Yemenite Jewish music has been known worldwide in the last years thanks to the matchless and sublime voice of Ofrah Haza.

I would include in this section the soundtrack of the film "The Governess", in which Ofrah wonderfully sings ancient Sephardic folk songs, mainly "a cappella", in Hebrew and Ladino (Spanish dialect spoken by Jews).

The original titles of the two songs in Ladino are: "Adio Querida" and "La Serena". Both of them are added to the instrumental soundtrack (titled "Adio Querida" and "The Veil").

Another Sephardic folk song that remained unreleased is "Shecharchoret", magnificently sung by Ofrah in her early career, before she recorded her first solo album. This song has been recently included in the compilation "Manginat Halev 2".

Sephardic music: is a rich musical genre with several similarities with Yemenite Jewish, as originally it was only vocal song without instruments, and it is womens task to pass it on in oral tradition.
There are different categories: ballades, love songs, wedding and religious songs. It is sung in Hebrew or Ladino (Spanish). Sephardic music had its golden age between the years 4660 and 4810, when Spain was under Arabs rule. In those times, Arabs were tolerant to Jews. Spanish Jews committed themselves to studying sciences and arts; concerning literature and music, they adopted the Arabic metre and rhyme, which they applied also to reading the Holy Scriptures and their own liturgical songs, the "piyyutim".


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Her memory is a blessing, her songs are worship, her beauty is now perfect in Heaven, her voice is eternal...