Israel Claims The Pandemic’s Over. These Are The Top 10 Hebrew Songs That Got Us Through It.

After a long, stressful, frightening year, Israel’s top entertainers are performing again. And if you’re among the vaccinated, you’re welcome to come down and sing along.

A quick scroll through artists’ posts on Instagram shows more and more Israeli concerts scheduled every day. Here are just a few examples:

  • Harel Skaat: 3/11 – Zappa Hertzlia (sold out); 4/22 – Zappa Ampi Shuni (sold out); 4/29 – Rating; 5/15 – Gray Yehud
  • Aviv Geffen: Shows throughout March and April, many sold out
  • Elai Botner and Yaldei HaChutz: 3/30 – Ganei Yehoshua; 4/8 – Ampi Shuni (sold out)
  • Miri Messika: 3/22 – Zappa Haifa; 3/25 – Zappa Hertzlia (sold out); 4/10 – Grey Yehud; 4/24 – Zappa Beer Sheva; 5/7 – Giv’at Brenner; 5/29 – Ampi Shuni

Of course, all of this information can change on a dime. Multiple times. But it’s encouraging to see a potential return to normal times. Maybe.

Meanwhile, Israeli radio airplay monitor Media Forest is celebrating the end of the draught of live Israeli music by plugging us in to the Top 10 Israeli Songs Heard During the Pandemic. They tallied up all plays across all Israeli radio stations over the past year, offering a historical window into the Israeli music scene for 2020-21.

These are the songs that made us smile, gave us a hug, and kept us slightly sane over the past 12 months.

10. Dolly and Penn feat. Dika and Idan Haviv: V’az At Tir’i (Then You Will See) – 1,941 radio plays

18 million + views on YouTube only tells part of the story for this great song. Its hopeful spirit and encouraging lyrics also reawakened the career of Idan Haviv…suddenly finding himself very relevant once again in the Israeli music industry. Idan’s song “Shlemim” was voted the #1 song of 5780 on Galgalatz, and his comeback appears to be just getting started.
Translated Lyrics >>

9. Static & Ben-El Tavori feat. Nasreen Qadri – Habib Albi – 2,033 radio plays

In the midst of a year free of almost all celebration and fun, music had to fill in the gaps. Cue Static and Ben-El, who have discovered magical ways to bring fun to our eardrums. Together with Nasreen Qadri, the boys captured the Tel Aviv party atmosphere, welcoming us into Tel Aviv Pride 2020. And the country couldn’t stop listening.
Translated Lyrics >>

8. Dudu Aharon & Eden Me’iri – BaChalomot Shelanu (In Our Dreams) – 2,207 radio plays

With fewer in person meetings taking place all year, “dreams” were a big theme in Israeli music throughout 2020. Perhaps that tells us a little bit about why this collaboration was so successful. But the bigger message? Dudu Aharon and Eden Me’iri are two unlikely musical partners teaming up for several other successful songs throughout the year…and the listening public just can’t get enough.
Translated Lyrics >>

7. Ivri Lider – HaMizrach HaTichon (The Middle East) – 2,208 radio plays

Ivri’s brilliant “The Middle East” was one of the best songs of the year in our opinion – but not necessarily because of the song itself. What we loved most was the incredible music video, with sad (yet somehow very satisfying) scenes of an empty Ben Gurion Airport during the pandemic. Many of us have watched dozens of times, desperate for a small taste of the home-away-from-home we all miss so much.
Translated Lyrics >>

6. Shlomi Shabbat & Eliad – Moridim Et HaYareach (Taking Down The Moon) – 2,209 radio plays

What does it take to “bring down the moon”? This delightful song brings in the unique talents of both its stars – the veteran Shlomi Shabbat and relative newcomer Eliad. A funky, fun beat…familiar voices…a singable refrain…all combine to create the ultimate Israeli comfort song for your ears.
Translated Lyrics >>

5. Mergui – Lo Yotze L’messibot (I Don’t Go To Parties) – 2,326 radio plays

Not going to parties this year? Don’t worry, the “rich and famous” are stuck at home just like you – at least according to this hot song by young star Mergui. While the official music video somehow disappeared off YouTube shortly after its arrival on Yom Ha’atzmaut, the song still has been blaring on Israeli radios ever since, while serving as a constant reminder of this interesting year we’re in.
Translated Lyrics >>

4. Avraham Tal – Shavua Tov (A Good Week) – 2,363 radio plays

With bad news dominating the headlines this past year, a song of optimism was just what the doctor ordered. Clocking in at just over two and a half minutes, this bite-sized song offered just that. A familiar “catch phrase”, a ton of positivity, glorious scenery, and a fun beat all added to the experience. “We should all have a good week!” In today’s times? Who could ask for anything more?
Translated Lyrics >>

3. Eden Hason – Sivuvim (Rotations) – 2,476 radio plays

What really makes us happy? Is it what we can show others, or what we can truly do for ourselves? In a year when the world was looking for more fulfillment, Eden Hason stepped in with a brilliant attempt to discover what might NOT be working. The clever animated video makes it abundantly clear that perhaps many of us are looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
Translated Lyrics >>

2. Noa Kirel – Million Dollar – 2,853 radio plays

Just about the same day that news outlets announced Noa Kirel’s multi-million dollar deal with Atlantic Records, Noa released perhaps her biggest Hebrew song to date. The song was called “Million Dollar”, coinciding with the news that Noa’s contract was the largest ever signed by an Israeli in the USA. All this from a girl who made Israeli Military Service a priority during the height of her skyrocketing career? We’re proud of you, Noa Kirel, and we’re happy to cheer you on to many more millions of dollars.
Translated Lyrics >>

1. Hanan Ben Ari – Im Tirtzi (If You Want) – 4,297 radio plays

First of all, take a look at that number: nearly 4,300 spins on the radio this year, excluding streaming sites! Something about this song captured Israeli society during the pandemic. Honestly, it’s not hard to understand. This is good, clean fun, and the accompanying music video reflects back to simpler times. Remember when you could safely crowd 15 people into a tiny elevator? Me neither. But that’s exactly what Hanan and friends did in those blissful days before we ever heard of “social distancing”. The song continues to put a smile on our faces, every time it hits the airways.
Translated Lyrics >>

There you have it: the top 10 Israeli songs of the pandemic according to Israel’s radio industry. Of course, these songs only begin to scratch the surface. We’ve enjoyed many, many great Israeli songs this past year. For a partial list, you can check out our own review of the best Israeli songs of 2020 here. What Israeli songs have kept you sane, happy, and upbeat during this difficult time?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: