After a six-year absence from the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, Dana International will finally return to the stage this year, and as the featured artist. But that’s not the only buzz about Dana at the moment: she has just released a new song, recorded especially for the event. The video, published only a few hours ago, has already caused a stir among overwhelmed fans, and turned Dana into the dish of the day. Let’s eat!

Dana’s new song, “Yeladim Ze Simcha” (“Children are joy”), is actually a cover version of a song written by the Israeli writer and playwright Yohushua Sobol, and composed by Shlomo Bar. The controversial song contains some pretty sarcastic lyrics:

…make four, make five, make six kids
in return you’ll be respected by your sibilings
Make twelve, wait, why not eighteen? Make twenty kids!
God will take care, and the social welfare services too”

The song was originally written in 1970, and served as a protest against traditional families giving birth to more and more children even though they couldn’t afford them.

Now, 30 years later, these lyrics are brought back to life in a whole new context. Dana, whose victory at Eurovision 1998 was a revolutionary moment for all gay and transgender people around the world, has transformed the song into an anthem of equality. It’s now about the right of every person in this world to have kids.

Sobol, the composer, was aware of Dana’s plan to make a new version of the song. He was totes excited by Dana’s interpretation. He even helped adjust the lyrics, daring to turn “god” into “goddess”.

Dana Internaitonal Yeladim ze simcha 1-1 (dragged)

Dana’s song dovetails nicely with the winds of change that are sweeping Israel. The right of gay couples to have kids has recently taken centre stage in the political arena. A wide-scale internet campaign recently called for the government to permit a group of Israeli gay couples, who chose to have a child through surrogacy in Thailand, to register their babies in Israel. The campaign was a tremendous success and became a cause célèbreAnother recent campaign called “Equality is for everyone” built on similar ideas. The theme of the Gay Pride parade this year is “New Families”, whose number in Israel is rising all the time.

Dana chose to address this sensitive issue by shooting a video which is both brilliant and provocative. The video takes place in the big synagogue in Tel Aviv, a symbol of tradition and orthodoxy. In the video, Dana is celebrating her son’s Bar Mitzva – a Jewish ceremony held when the child is 13 years old.

She plays the part of religious fashionista well. She wears a modest long sleeved dress and has a wig, while her son is wearing a kipa – a traditional Jewish head covering cap. Dana named her son “Re’em International”. It’s printed on the kipa — so sweet! Everything in the ceremony looks very realistic: the boys’ clothes, the enthusiastic dancing, even the tradition of throwing candy at the child after he finishes reading from the Bible.

Dana Internaitonal Yeladim ze simcha 3-1 (dragged) 1

It’s truly provocative, as Israel’s religious authorities remain the last people in the country who refuse to accept homosexuality. Choosing to shoot this story in the most religious place one can think of is like the expression of a dream: that gay couples can have children, and still be loved and accepted by the more traditional parts of society.

Dana will perform this song during the main event of the Gay Parade in Tel Aviv, on 13 June. Mei Feingold, Israel’s Eurovision 2014 singer, is also going to sing a song recorded especially for the event. As more and more information about the Tel Aviv parade is revealed, it feels like it’s going to be the best parade ever!

– Shai Barak contributed reporting from Israel

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Maya G
Guest
Maya G

The song is indeed sarcastic, but you got the message totally wrong.
The lyrics are critical of the Israeli Ashkenazi elites’ arrogance towards the low Sephardi classes.
The irony of the lyrics can be overlooked because of the happy upbeat music, but when lines like “You people love children” and “You have hearts of gold. It’s written in the Torah, or maybe in the Gemara, go ask your Rabbi” are obvious criticism of the people in power condescendingly sweet-talking the blue collars into accepting their poverty and perpetuate it by keeping them ignorant and submissive.

Branko
Guest
Branko

Why is Conchita 2014 trated like a hero for many, while in 2011 Dana was ignored by all (the song cannot be the only reason…)

marklebron
Guest
marklebron

ugly hair.

Erin
Guest
Erin

The clip: http://www.mako.co.il/music-news/singles/Article-89f10bbc8bb6641004.htm screen shots: http://www.mako.co.il/pride-pride-events/2014-articles/Article-23bfae65ff24641004.htm?Partner=interlink Dana is quoted there saying: “The clip’s theme is about a good Jewish mother accompanying her son’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the synagogue during the Torah reading. When I was offered the script concept video, I fell in love with it immediately. A place of worship is a place that belongs to everyone. Thankfully only in this amazing city of Tel Aviv where I was born and raised and which I love the most in this world, people realize that . Since my childhood I have not been in a synagogue. It is one… Read more »

Marcelo N
Guest

Oy vey!

Davve
Guest
Davve

in 1998 dana international.. and in 2014 conchita wurst…. two loving drags! love them