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Lenny Solomon revolutionized Jewish music when he decided to stop doing Jewish songs in Hebrew. He took the pop hits and turned them into Jewish hits. He realized that the greatest way to make a hit, is to take a hit and make it a hit.
The art of taking the music of others and changing the words has helped the world of Jewish music grow, without using Jewish music. Since the pop revelation, Lenny Solomon has been Shlock rocking with his Shlock Rock, making it to communities all over the globe and spreading the word of non-Jewish songs to Jews.
Some songs may have been written by Jews, but we still parody them, as we make them Jewish. What makes Jewish parody unique to other forms of parody is its ability to leave out anything funny. So lets Shlok Rock.
Here are some of Lenny's Shlock Rock greats.
Making Aliyah Today
tune of 'Born in the USA' by Bruce Springsteen
Lyrics: Gotta call from a man today. It was my Rabbi he said move away.
Go to a place where the land is good. Land of milk and Honey and Brotherhood. I was Born in the U.S.A, Now I’m Making Aliyah Today. (2X)
Explanation: Aliyah means moving to Israel. In this song, Lenny Solomon took the most patriotic American song and changed it 180 to leaving the USA. The message is more important than the song. I can't wait to hear what Lenny does to John Mellencamp's 'Small Town.' Those lyrics will show as, 'I was born in a small town. And now I live in New York City. I'm happy I left the small town. Never wanted to live in that same small town.'
It should've been called 'Born in the USA,' but that would be plagiarism.
To Unite All Jews
tune of 'With or Without You' by U2
Lyrics: To unite all Jews. To unite a-all Jews, right now. I can't wait, to unite all Jews.
Explanation: Love songs are frowned upon, unless singing to Gd. Hence, we had to change the U2 song. Until Bono writes Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs), we are not singing his lyrics. I think we all have to rethink our concept of romance.
tune of 'Barbara Ann' by the Beach Boys
Lyrics: Abar bar bar bar bar barnel. Abar bar bar bar bar barnel. Abar bar bar bar bar barnel. Abarbanane-e-el. We think you're swe-e-el. Abarbane-e-el.
Explanation: I still don't know who the Abarbanel is. He was definitely a rabbi who lived a long time ago. He has a commentary on the Mishna and is a great rabbi. They should've said 'we think you're grey-ey-eyt,' but that doesn't rhyme with his name. To note, that 'ey' is there for phonetic reasons. I believe this article should be a seminar. I also believe 'Abar bar bar bar bar barnel' should be repeated more. It's fun, and unlike 'Barbara Ann,' which I always thought was 'Barbaran,' you don't think the name is something else.
The song goes on, 'Went to a shiur. Thought it would be queer. Saw Abarbanel, Now I’m learning for a year. Abarbanel.' I believe those lyrics were fine in the '80s. Listen to Safam's 'Just another Foreigner' for more great lyrics that were fine in the '80s, like 'I met a man from Addis Ababa. His skin was black and his features kind of strange.'
So many great Jewish songs written by Lenny, none greater than my favorite 'Am
Yisrael Chai.' A song that never made it as big, because he wrote the tune. He should've used one of Whitney Houston's for that. It would still be a hit.
Lenny figured out the formula. You take a classic and it's a classic. How Lenny Solomon can turn any rock song into an instant Jewish classic is something that only Vanilla Ice could understand.
Through Shlock Rock, he took every song and made it Jewish. And somehow, through the irony of doing it, the Jewish parody makes you laugh. Thanks to 'The Boss,' Lenny Solomon is a Jewish legend.
People being educated by songs is questionable to me. Even so, there's so much we can learn, especially when Lenny sings of the 'Minyan Man.' If somebody were to ask me, right now, how to connect to Judaism, I would tell them to read a book.
***Next time we'll talk about parodying Men At Work into Hebrew. We will delve into how Piamenta revolutionized Jewish music to the next level, opening up the concept of not writing the tune or the lyrics.
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What do you call a bird with good Hebrew grammar? A dikduck.
You get it? Dikduk means grammar in Hebrew. Substituting 'duk' with 'duck.' Brilliant. And the animals are laughing too.
The reason we moved to Israel. Kosher Burger King. Menu on the wall... As David shared upon his Aliyah arrival, 'The burgers are kosher. We've been redeemed.' Then, he ate and expressed his amazement at how they already knew what he wanted, like a miracle, as the burger was ready before he ordered.