Bemachshichayich Yerushalayim
matzanu lev ohev,
et banu lerchiv gvulaich
velemager oyev.
Mikol margemotav ravinu,
Veshachar kam pit om,
Verak alah, od lo hilbin od,
Ukvar hayah adom.

Yerushalayim shel barzel
veshel oferet veshel schor
halo lechomotayich kar anu dror.

Hagdud ragum paratz kadima,
Dam veashan kulo,
Iva u ima achar ima,
Bekahal haschulot.
Noshech sfatav, valo bli yega,
Hosif hagdud lilchom,
Ad she hunaf sof-sof hadegel
Me al beit hanechot.

Yerushalayim shel barzel
veshel oferet veshel schor
halo lechomotayich kar anu dror.

Nafotzu kol gdudei hamelech,
Tzalaf nadam tzricho,
Achav efshar el yam hamelach,
Bederech yericho.
Achshav efshar el har habait
Vekotel ma arav,
Hine hinech beor arba yim
Kim at kulech zahav.

Yerushalayim shel zahav
Veshel oferet ve chalom,
La ad, bein chomotaych Iskon shalom.
In your darkness, Jerusalem,
we found a loving heart,
when we came to widen your borders
and to overwhelm the enemy.
We became satiated of all his mortars,
then suddenly dawn broke,
it just arose, not yet even white,
and it was aready red.

Jerusalem of iron,
of lead, of darkness,
haven't we set your wall free?

The strafed battalion broke forwards,
all of him in blood and smoke,
and a mother came, and another mother,
in the congregation of bereavement.
Biting his lips, not without toil,
the battalion continued fighting,
till, at the end, the flag flapped
above the house of bitterness.

Jerusalem of iron,
of lead, of darkness,
haven't we set your wall free?

The king's army dispersed,
the sniper his tower is silent,
now it s possible to go to the Dead Sea
by the way of Jericho.
Now it s possible to the Santuary Mountain
And to the Western Wall,
here, you are, in the twilight
almost all of you, gold.

Jerusalem of gold,
and lead, and dream
Will forever be Peace, between your walls.



Hebrew words

Translator's notes:
About Meir Ariel
Meir Ariel was one of the most nonconformist and controversial israeli artists. He wrote lyrics and music for quite a few Israeli artists, but also sang his own songs by himself.
His most famous song is Agadat desheh, with music by Shalom Chanoch and sung by Arik Einstein.
Meir Ariel passed away in 1999, aged 57, as result of a sudden, mysterious and deadly infection.
About the song
Meir Ariel started his career at the time of the Six Day War in 1967.
He was one of the paratroopers who set the Old City of Jerusalem free.
He was nicknamed 'The Singing Paratrooper' (Hatzanchan Hamezamer).
After the war he composed a protest takeoff of the song , same music, but totally different lyrics.
He wanted to emphasize the dark aspect of the war, as he, a fighting paratrooper, saw it.
There are different version of Yerushalayim shel barzel.
I don't know wheter they are successive changes made by the author, or 'adjustments' made by editors, to 'soften' some bitter expressions.
1. In the chorus:
Yerushalayim shel barzel veshel oferet veshel schor (Darkness) sometimes written as:
Yerushalayim shel barzel veshel oferet veshel schol (Bereavement)
It is obvious that the original vesion contains schor, which non only rhymes with dror of the following verse, but also with the original Naomi Shemer's Or/Kinor.

The anthitesis is obvious: Zahav/Barzel, Nechoshet/Oferet, Or/Schor (Gold/Iron, Copper/Lead, Light/Darkness).

2. Ad shehunaf sof-sof hadegel me'al beit hanechot.   
Sometimes the word hunaf (to hoist) is written huchlaf (to change). Beit hanechot means museum. It is the Rockfeller Museum, close to the Old City, and clearly visibile from the sorrounding battlefield. Sometimes the word nechot is spelled erroneously with an aleph instead a vav.
Since in the Bible this word (without the preceding beit) means some kind of sorrow (and is also the plural of the plant Astragalus), It is not clear whether Meir Ariel intended to put  a double meaning in the verse.
I took the liberty to think so, and translated it with the English espression 'the house of bitterness', instead of 'the museum'. I went even further in the Italian version, where 'Beit hanechot' became 'The graveyard there'. Its an error, but I think it's more appropriate with the spirit of the song.
LYRICS Meir Ariel
MUSIC Naomi Shemer

Meir Ariel, Yehoram Gaon

Transliteration, translation and singable Italian translation by Daniel Shalev of Rishon Le Zion, Israel
Contact the publisher of Hebrew
Singable Italian translation

Venuti nella notte scura
ci hai accolto con amor.
Ci avevan detto: “Dalle mura
cacciate l'invasor!”.

Saziammo d'obici e mortai
e l'alba che spuntò
non fece in tempo a rischiararsi,
che rossa diventò.

Gerusalemme, ferro e fuoco
e piombo e tenebre e dolor.
M' hanno chiamato a duro prezzo
“Liberator !”.

Il battaglione bombardato
ancora avanti andò.
Venne la madre di un soldato,
col corpo ritornò.

A denti stretti quella schiera
sfondò nella città,
finché piantò la sua bandiera
sul camposanto là.

Gerusalemme, ferro e fuoco...

La Regia Armata fu dispersa,
non può il cecchin sparar,
per Via di Gerico al Mar Morto
possiamo adesso andar.

Possiamo andar sul Sacro Monte,
pregare al Muro ancor,
e bere l'acqua della fonte
nel tuo tramonto d'or.

Gerusalemme tutta d'oro,
un sogno resta dentro al cuor:
“Tra le tue mura sia la Pace mill'anni ancor !”.


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