Your RDA of Irony

Copy Rites

I will be going to choir practice with more than my usual share of guilt.  I can’t read music but I manage to sing within an octave of the correct note.  My dyspeptic tendency to belch in the middle of a hymn is almost a tradition at our synagogue; it is like being my own metronome.  No, this is a crisis of conscience.  I am an accessory to a crime–and my choir is going to sing it.

If you have never heard Hatikva, the Israeli National Anthem, then you also have never heard Smetana’s “Die Moldau.”

Perhaps the Israeli National Anthem should be renamed “Chutzpah.”  At least plagiarize a Jewish composer!  Rodgers and Hammerstein may offer this paean to Zion, “Chaim Every Mountain.”  Irving Berlin could have anticipated Israel’s precarious situation: “You Can Get Imans With a Gun.” For a more spiritual tone, George Bizet might lend “Torah Adore.”

(John Mellencamp is Gentile; otherwise I would have suggested “Herzl So Good.”)

But here is my choice for the Israeli National Anthem.  It even means “Yes, Yes” in Hebrew.

p.s.  For more on Monsieur Offenbach…

Moulin Rogue



  1. Tanya says:

    Hatikva and Die Moldau, right on!

  2. wayne rhodes says:


  3. Eugene Finerman says:

    Plagiarism is a proud musical tradition. Of course, the euphemism is “adaptation.”

    “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” does sound somewhat similar to Britain’s “God Save the Queen.” I wonder which nation had it first? At least, we have restrained from “Rule Wisconsin. Wisconsin Rules the Lakes.”

    On a more serious note, the Third Reich discovered that Felix Mendelssohn had plagiarized Richard Wagner. There is an undeniable similarity in the motifs in the Non-Aryan’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the Aryan’s “Tannhauser.” Obviously, the impeccable Wagner would not stoop to plagiarism. The fact that he finished his opera 16 years after Mendelssohn completed his Overture only demonstrates how typically insidious that Non-Aryan was.

  4. Tosh says:

    So what’s wrong with stealing a good song title from a gentile?

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      In fact, you can’t copyright a title. So I am free to write “War and Peace”, “Madame Bovary” or “Hamlet”. The text, however, is another matter.


  5. Leslie Jo says:

    Hi, Eugene!
    I bet you thought I fell off the planet because I haven’t responded to any of your posts.Well, I did sort of not fall causing a slightly torn hamstring while attempting to play tennis a couple of weeks ago. The pain is insane. I’m not comfortable sitting or walking, so, the only cure I could think of was to catch up on your blog tonight. It’s helping already! Instead of a pain in my ass, I’m laughing my ass off! Thanks!

    I also managed to disassemble my e mail, so I lost all of your blogs I was saving for a rainy day. Good thing I can just log onto your blog and read what I was saving. At least I’m outside with the dogs enjoying this beautiful weather. I’ve managed to find a semi-comfortable sitting position: listing to the right.

    Anyway, expect to get a lot of comments from me tonight.
    P.S. I hope you’re well. Do you really burp whilst you sing? That is too funny. I tend to yawn when I sing. I’ve been wanting to join a gospel choir, but don’t want to try out.

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