HANASICH HAKATAN

Pagashti oto beleiv hamidbar
Yafah shkiyat shemesh leleiv atzuv
Tziyarti lo eitz vekivsah al niyar
Vehu hivtiyach li sheyashuv

Hanasich hakatn miplugah bet
Lo yerey od kivsah she ochelet perach
Vechol shoshanav hen kotzim ka’eit
Velibo hakatan kafah kakerach

Veim ey pa’am tagiyu lechan
Teydu she kan hu cheresh tzanach
Vekol han’filah me’olam lo nishmah
Biglal hachol harach.

Vehaya im yofiyah sham yeled echad
Shefanav tzochekot ve’seyar lo zahav
Teydu she zeh hu vehosheetu lo yad
Velatfu ha’avak hamidbar meyeynav
Ve’az ta’asu eemee chesed katan

Kitvu na maher lechol imoteynu
Sheyirvach lahen ktzat vyafug tza’aran
Hanasich hakatan chazar eyleynu
Hanasich hakatn miplugah bet

Lo yerey od kivsah she ochelet perach
Vechol shoshanav hen kotzim ka’eit
Velibo hakatan kafah kakerach
Pagashti oto beleiv hamidbar

THE LITTLE PRINCE

I met him in the heart of the desert
How pretty the sunset is to a sad heart
I painted him a tree and a ewe on paper
And he promised me he would return

The Little Prince from unit "B"
He no longer will see the ewe that eats the flower
And all of his lillies are thorns now
And his little heart is as cold as ice

And if sometime you arrive here
Know that here he parachuted
And the sound of his fall was never heard
Because of the soft sand

And if a boy should appear there
With laughter in his face and golden hair
Know that is him, and offer him a hand
And wipe the desert sand from his eyes
And then do me one small favor

Write quickly, please, to all of our mothers
To relieve them a little and alleviate their sadness
"The Little Prince has returned to us!"
The Little Prince of unit "B"

He no longer will see the ewe that eats the flower
And all of his lillies are thorns now
And his little heart is as cold as ice.
I met him in the heart of the desert.

 
Hebrew words

Note:
The lyrics by Yonatan Gefen paint a fascinating and ironic picture. The christ-child figure of the Little Prince is transformed into a Israeli paratrooper MIA. The laughing, golden prince of a boy represents all Israeli soldiers cut down in the bloom of youth. The lyrics refer to the reappearance of the little prince at some future time.

The singer implores whoever comes upon him to "wipe the desert sand from his eyes." The dual meaning of this image reflects the singer's desire to see the boy come back, unharmed, but also to recover his body and restore at least that small honor to the dead. In this way, the Little Prince of Israel is the failed Messiah whose life remains unsaved and whose body remains unresurrected.

Shem Tov Levi captures the essense of hope in the flute obligato and the unexpected movement to the parallel major, in particular. He ends the last phrase with the beginning words, pausing briefly on the G major chord that is hopeful and unresolved, but then, ultimately returns to the D minor root, resigned. In my opinion, this song represents one of the finest examples of word painting in Israeli popular music. The hope and sadness of the lyrics leaves me feeling shattered.
Video

LYRICS
Yonatan Gefen
MUSIC
Shem Tov Levi
SINGER
Shem Tov Levi
CD
Collection Track 17
Israel's Greatest Hits 1970-1980 Track 11

Words transliterated and translated by Cantor Judith Ovadia of Newton, Massachusetts, USA.
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