The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Thursday, September 28, 2006

English Lyrics II

I take back all the bad things I said about English lyrics in Jewish songs.

Well, in one case anyway.

Michael Shapiro.

Michael Shapiro produced some of the deepest and most beautiful Jewish music during the 1980s. I'm sure most of you have never heard of him much less his music. He produced 6 albums, 5 of which I have (one that I don't have and never even heard).

(Michael will sell you his CDs at $12.50 each if you send him an email at at If you can't afford all 5, start with The Sparkle of Sunlight and Beyond Twelve Gates).

But we digress. Quite a few of his tunes have English lyrics. Most are quite beautiful. He is the exception to the rule.

(As an aside, if I recover what I spent on my new CD (a big if) I am considering bringing back some of my favorite musicians to produce another CD that would cover 12 of Michael's niggunim. The world will be a better place if we can get his music out there).


  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger Izbitza said…

    What do you know about him?
    I've heard different things.

  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    He is in Phoenix having strayed from the derech. He's involved in Jewish Renewal or some such organization. That is what makes him even more intriguing. It is very hard to understand how someone who wrote the niggunim and poetry he did could have left the tent.

    Nevertheless, the music, written when he was holding, speaks for itself. It comes from a very deep place.

  • At 2:19 PM, Blogger The Town Crier said…

    I forgot to mention earlier that a young man named david ross has written a couple of the nicest songs - both tunes and lyrics i have ever heard. They may sound cheesy - but not your typical jewish cheese at all. Much more like michael jackson cheese.

    (originally appeared on voices for israel and recently released his own album)

  • At 7:53 AM, Blogger Randi said…

    I used to have "Beyond Twelve Gates" years ago and loved it. I lost it and need to replace it. I plan to email Michael Shapiro at address posted by Mochassid. (Thanks)!!! Current beliefs aside, it is absolutely beautiful music.

  • At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Beverley Price said…

    In Johannesburg this morning I was humming a tune ( dye, dye dye didi dye....etc)and remembered his first name only. Amazing. He used to sing at the Israel Centre next to Bikur Cholim Hospital in Jerusalem ("Did you hear Michael Shapiro is in town"....)in the early 80's when I believed this would be a permanent reality. Beautiful and naive times. We sat on the floor in the candle lit darkness. It was also when Shlomo Carlebach (z'l) used to come and then we DEFINITELY sat on the floor.Well I'll get back to washing my dishes.

  • At 5:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

  • At 10:26 PM, Blogger yanmaneee said…

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