Hava Nagila


This is one of the first modern Israeli folk songs in Hebrew.


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


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.

Singable Translation

Here are some English words from Singing Together Summer 1974
(BBC Schools Radio) (source)
Out in the meadow
Music is playing
People are dancing
They Circle about.
Arms linked with one another
They dance the Hora
And while they dance merrily shout

Come do the hora now
Watch and we’ll show you how
Step hop and once again
See how it is done.
Hear how we keep the beat
Stepping with lively feet
Come join our circle now
Come dance with your friends

Now that we’re together
Everyone steps a little faster
Everyone hops a little faster
See how the circle’s turning faster
See how the circle’s turning faster
How it’s done
Rest everyone
We’ve danced the hora joyfully

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)

See also


Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen

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