I must confess, for the first 11 or 12 years of my life I grew up listening almost exclusively to Jewish Music - groups like Uncle Moishy, Country Yossi, and the Miami Boys Choir were always playing in our house, and Shloime Dachs, before his solo debut, was a guy who worked with us in Camp. Haven't heard of Moishy, Yossi, or Shloime? Maybe because their music is a combination of liturgical, Hebrew, and religiously inspired pieces. Just like I would never have heard of any of the stars of Christian Rock, I imagine that many of my non-Jewish readers wouldn't have heard of these guys.
They were mostly limited to the Jewish world, but now they are finding new ways to branch out. Firstly, just like Jessica Simpson busted*out of the Christian Rock scene, we now have a crossover in Matisyahu , a.k.a. The Chassidic Reggae Guy. But cheaper video production costs and tools like Google Video, have begat the spread of videos like the one to the right. Now it's not enough for little choir boys to simply shuffle their feet in unison on stage, but they need to have an MTV-style video. What happened to good ol' fashioned chazzanut? Oh wait, there is a movie about that too.
Still, I guess it was about time for this to happen, and quite frankly I am glad it did. My mom bought my boys an Uncle Moishy Video for chanukah, and they love it. As much as I love that they enjoy Jewish Music, I enjoy it even more when they sing it around the house.
I have to correct you with Jessica Simpson. As an avid Christian Music listener it must be said that Jessica Simpson was never actually in Christian Music. She sang in church and never really got into the business within the Christian Market. Her father says it was her look but I don't buy it. Now we have had crossover artists like POD, Switchfoot, Bleach, Reliant K and Lifehouse. Now is any of this music English or is it all Hebrew and Yiddish? When the oldest starts reading we might start with another languare;).
Oops - the footnote on Busted was going to say that according to Jessica's Dad, and a VH1 special I saw one day at the Gym, Jessica was too busty to break into the Christian music scene.
As for Jewish Music and its lyrics, they take 3 or 4 forms:
Liturgical music, in Ancient Hebrew.
Israeli music (sometimes Religiously themed, sometimes not) in Modern Hebrew.
Yinglish - i.e. English songs with Yiddish and/or Hebrew words
Finally there are a few, but not too many, songs being produced in Yiddish or Ladino.
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