Hava Nagila

Lyrics - Transliteration

(Hassidic folk tune, Lyrics by Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, 1918)

Hava nagila, hava nagila
Hava nagila ve-nis’mecha

Hava neranena, hava neranena
Hava neranena venis’mecha

Uru, uru achim
Uru achim belev same’ach

English Translation - Let us rejoice

Let us rejoice, let us rejoice
Let us rejoice and be glad

Let us sing, let us sing
Let us sing and be glad

Awaken, awaken brethren
Awaken, brethren with a cheerful heart.

Hebrew – הבה נגילה

הבה נגילה
הבה נגילה
הבה נגילה ונשמחה

הבה נרננה
הבה נרננה
הבה נרננה ונשמחה

!עורו, עורו אחים
עורו אחים בלב שמח

!עורו אחים, עורו אחים
בלב שמח


The dance steps came to the U.S. long before Israeli independence, in the early 20th century. The steps to the actual dance are very easy to do, and can be done by a people of all ages and sizes, basically by anyone at all who wants to dance. That may, in fact, have something to do with the popularity. The dancers all join hands (or, in some traditions, the men hold a hankerchief with their female dance partners holding the other end) and begin to move in a circle. The steps are as follows:

  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. (source)


  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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1 thought on “Hava Nagila”

  1. Thanks for posting this! My primary teacher in the 70’s had us singing this and I always assumed he’d made up the lyrics himself! But it was the good old BBC after all…. now I can put that ear worm to bed…..

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