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Chad Gadya (One little goat)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/10/17)
Composer: Folk Song
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: The Armley Schulze
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Fun
The great festival of Pesach (Passover) begins Monday night at sundown.

Chad Gadya (One little goat) is a playful cumulative song in Aramaic and Hebrew. It is sung at the end of the Passover Seder, the Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The melody may have its roots in Medieval German folk music. It first appeared in a "Haggadah" printed in Prague in 1590, which makes it the most recent inclusion in the traditional Passover seder liturgy.

As with any work of verse, Chad Gadya is open to interpretation. According to some modern Jewish commentators, what appears to be a light-hearted song may be symbolic. One interpretation is that Chad Gadya is about the different nations that have conquered the Land of Israel: The kid symbolizes the Jewish people, the cat, Assyria; the dog, Babylon; the stick, Persia; the fire, Macedonia; the water, Roman Empire; the ox, the Saracens; the butcher, the Crusaders; the angel of death, the Turks. At the end, God returns to send the Jews back to Israel. The recurring refrain of 'two zuzim' is a reference to the two stone tablets given to Moses on Mount Sinai (or refer to Moses and Aaron). Apparently this interpretation was first widely published in pamphlet published in 1731 in Leipzig by Philip Nicodemus Lebrecht. This interpretation has become quite popular, with many variations of which oppressor is represented by which character in the song.

The "cumulative" aspect of it makes similar to something like "On the first day of Christmas, etc." You just keep adding the new phrase to all of the old material that you have already sung, so, it gets very wordy.

Often the tempo gets faster as it goes along, but there are "slow and serious verses" as well, talking about the "angel of death," and the "Holy One." The text is given in the First Comment, and a picture of the "Chad gadya" story taken from a Passover "Haggadah" (special prayer book) is attached below.

"Chag Pesach sameach!"
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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