THE TRANSFORMATION OF ZALMAN SHNEUR'S POEM "YAD ANUGA" INTO A POPULAR SONGHagit Matras and Yaacov Mazor
"Yad Anuga", one of Zalman Shneur's famous poems. was first published by Y.H. Brenner in his literary periodical Hame'orer which appeared in London in February 1906, a fact that was not even mentioned by Shneur himself. The song can be found in print with the notes of its well-known melody and in the memory of many people since the 1920s. However, by reading through correspondence between Brenner and his friends during the first decade of the century we find that the song was then sung to a different melody. The present project was begun a few years ago to try to ascertain whether there actually was an earlier melody and whether it can still be traced.
The article outlines the path followed by the authors - unpublished correspondence, published material and ongoing field work, inter-viewing many people - that led them to the discovery of as close a version of the "first melody" as possible, and also to learn about the conditions which made possible the connection between the words and the melody of "Yad Anuga" in Vilna, near the time of the poem's first publication.
The authors concluded that "Yad Anuga" "behaved" very much like other songs of its time: it was written and set to music in Europe at the beginning of the century. It then migrated to Eretz Israel as the poem of a famous young Zionist, becoming widespread in a melody adopted from the local repertoire. Later it was transported back to its "homeland" in its new form which completely overcame the first melody, becoming one of the well-known "pioneer" songs, and as such it returned to Eretz Israel.
taken from here
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