As Hebrew culture began to flourish anew and the People of Israel returned to their homeland, children's songs served as a crucial means to instill language and common values. The greatest Hebrew poets and songwriters have taken this task upon themselves, from the time of the Jewish Yishuv in Eretz Israel to the present day.
This stamp series includes a dozen well known children's songs that are sung by all and passed from one generation to the next. Songs about nature and animals, time and space, family, pain and hope. These songs have been published in books, numerous versions have been recorded by Israel's finest artists and to this day they continue to be played on radio and television and in the theater. But most of all, these songs have been preserved thanks to preschool and kindergarten teachers.
Our children's songs are an important part of Israeli music and they provide insight into the world of Israel's children. These songs reflect our cultural development through the years.
Lyrics: Leah Naor, Music: Nurit Hirsh
This happy and optimistic song describes a concert performed by a bird orchestra. It is one of the first songs written by songwriter and screenwriter Leah Naor and by composer and adapter Nurit Hirsh, who has set countless children's songs to music It was first performed by singer Chava Alberstein (1967).
I Am Always Me
Lyrics and Music: Datia Ben Dor
This is an enchanting song about a world of contradictions, at the center of which is a boy who always remains himself. Datia Ben Dor has written screenplays, songs and music for television series, plays and shows for preschoolers. This song is identified with play songs and word games.
A Brave Clock
Lyrics: Levin Kipnis, Music: Moshe Wilensky
Levin Kipnis, Israel Prize recipient for children's literature 1978, was one of Israel's most significant children's authors and songwriters. He left behind a substantial and important collection of children's songs, particularly festival songs. This song about a vigorous clock was based on a foreign-language poem and set to music in 1940 by Moshe Wilensky, who is also one of the pillars of Israeli music and an Israel Prize recipient for Israeli music 1983. Many versions of the song have been recorded. One of the earliest is that by singer Esther Gamlielit.
What Do the Does Do?
Lyrics: Leah Goldberg, Music: Yoni Rechter
This song bears the name of a children's book written by poet Leah Goldberg, Israel Prize recipient for literature in 1970, which was published by Sifriyat HaPoalim in 1949. This is one of the first songs by musician Yoni Rechter and it was written for singer Arik Einstein.
I Wanted You to Know
Lyrics and Music: Uzi Hitman
This song participated in the 1977 Children's Song Festival, as the dream of peace between Israel and Egypt became a reality. Although it did not win the competition, the song has become timeless - selected as the favorite Children's Song Festival song of all time and recorded numerous times. The most moving and beloved version is that of creator Uzi Hitman himself, who wrote many children's songs.
Buba Zehava (Doll)
Lyrics: Miriam Yalan-Shteklis, Music: Shmulik Kraus
Poet Miriam Yalan-Shteklis, Israel Prize recipient for children's literature 1956, made Aliyah to Israel from the Ukraine in 1920, lived in Jerusalem and had no children of her own. Musician Shmulik Kraus admired Yalan-Shteklis and set many of her poems to music. Two of these are included in the iconic 1967 album recorded by the "High Windows" trio.
Why Does the Zebra Wear Pajamas?
Lyrics: Omer Hillel, Music: Dubi Seltzer
Author, poet and landscape artist Omer Hillel wrote many stories and songs for children, as well as some of the greatest hits by the "HaTarnegolim" band. Musician Dubi Seltzer, 2009 Israel Prize recipient for Israeli music and one of the founders of the IDF Nachal Musical Theater Group composed the music for this song in the early 1960's for his wife, singer Geula Gil. It was later performed by rock band Mashing.
The Prettiest Girl in Kindergarten
Lyrics: Yehonatan Geffen, Music: Yoni Rechter
This song appeared in the book HaKeves Hashisha Asar (The 16th Sheep), written by poet Yehonatan Geffen. In 1978, Dudu Elharar produced an album based on the book's poems, featuring singers Yehudit Ravitz, Gidi Gov, Yoni Rechter and David Broza.
The Post Van
Lyrics and Music: Naomi Shemer
Naomi Shemer, a Kibbutz Kinneret native, was an Israeli songwriter, composer and singer and Israel Prize recipient for Israeli music 1983. Some of her first songs, such as The Post Van and Our Little Brother were written when she taught the kibbutz children rhythmics. Yaffa Yarkoni recorded them a number of years later on her album Songs from Kinneret (1957).
Lyrics: Talma Aligon, Music: Nimrod Tene
This was the first song written by songwriter Talma Aligon. It was originally recorded by singer Yaffa Yarkoni, who recorded many children's songs. The song describes the admiration a little girl feels for her father and the immense disappointment she experiences when he falls asleep while she sings him his favorite song.
Lyrics: Ch. N. Bialik, Music: Daniel Sambursky
National poet Chaim Nachman Bialik probably wrote this poem in 1922, but it was only published a decade later in his book Poems and Songs for Children (1933), which also featured illustrations by Nachum Gutman. In the 1930's Daniel Sambursky, one of the fathers of Israeli music set the poem to music and it continues to
he sung to this day.
Lyrics: Miriam Yalan-Shteklis, Music: Max Lampel
This song was written in 1943 and was first published in the book Danny. It is one of the only songs set to music by Viennese musician and conductor Max Lampel. While many versions have been recorded, it was originally sung by beloved singer Ahuva Zadok in 1956.