Hava Nagila, Springsteen and the Oval Office

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Who knew that there could more than one Hava Nagila related blog post in a month. Last week, Tamar gave a run down of different Hava Nagila versions from around the world. But apparently you don’t have to go to India to get an original version of the song.

Back on May 18th, Bruce Springsteen was playing a show at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. Occasionally (often?), Springsteen plays “Stump the Band,” where members of the audience bring signs with names of obscure songs for the band to play.

As you can see in the video below (start watching at about the 2:15 mark), Springsteen found a sign for Hava Nagila and the band started to play it.

But here is where the story has a little twist. In order for the band to play your song, your sign somehow has to make its way onto the stage. Clifford Mendelson, who made the sign, was lucky enough to be sitting two rows behind White House Chief of Staff, and fellow Jew, Rahm Emmanuel. Emmanuel, supposidly a fan of Hava Nagila, grabbed the sign, handed it to the Secret Service who put it onto the stage.

Just to be clear though. The E Street Band will not be doing bar mitzvahs and weddings.

Posted on June 1, 2009

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