Hava Nagila | Lyrics

from the MMF Songbook

History for 'Hava Nagila'

Hava Nagila translates as, "Let us Rejoice". It is a Hebrew folk song traditionally sung at Jewish celebrations. The melody is based on a Hassidic Nigun and was composed in 1915. There are competing claims of who wrote the lyrics. It is believed it was either written by Abraham Zevi Idelsohn or Mose Nathanson.

Hebrew Lyrics for 'Hava Nagila'

Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Hava nagila

Hava neranenah
Hava neranenah
Hava neranenah

Uru, uru aḥim!
Uru aḥim be-lev sameaḥ
(repeat line four times)

Uru aḥim, uru aḥim!
Be-lev sameaḥ

English Translation for 'Hava Nagila'

Let us rejoice
Let us rejoice
Let us rejoice and be happy.

Let us sing
Let us sing
Let us sing and be happy.

Awake, awake, my brothers!
Awake my brothers with a happy heart.

Awake, my brothers!
Awake, my brothers with a happy heart

Dance for 'Hava Nagila'

Dancers all join hands in a circle.
(Or the men can hold a handkerchief with their
female dance partners holding the other end.)
Dancers move in a circle following these steps:

1) Step the left foot across to the right
2) Let the right foot follow
3) Step the left foot in back of the right
4) Follow again with the right
This "grapevine" like motion is done in an exuberant
circular motion to the right. Dancers may sing and
the band may speed up the tempo.

Dance Variation
Dancers may form concentric circles, sometimes
dancing in opposite directions

At bar mitzvahs, the youth being celebrated may
be lifted on a chair by several strong people in
the center of the circle or even along the motion
of the circle

At Israeli weddings, as well, it is traditional
to raise the bride and groom (and sometimes other
family members) on chairs as well.

Browse Related Resources for 'Hava Nagila'

Piano Sheet Music

Hava Nagila | Hebrew Folk Song for Easy/Level 4 Piano Solo

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MMF Songbook