Hallelujah (Gali Atari and Milk & Honey song)

Last updated
Flag of Israel.svg Hallelujah
Eurovision Song Contest 1979 entry
Kobi Oshrat
Finals performance
Final result
Final points
Appearance chronology
◄ "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" (1978)   
"Halayla" (1981) ►

"Hallelujah" (Hebrew script: הללויה) was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, performed in Hebrew by Gali Atari and Milk & Honey for Israel. [1]

The Hebrew alphabet, known variously by scholars as the Jewish script, square script, and block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language. It is also used in the writing of other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Judaeo-Spanish, and Judeo-Arabic.

Eurovision Song Contest 1979 song contest

The Eurovision Song Contest 1979 was the 24th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It was held on 31 March 1979 in Jerusalem, Israel, following the country's win at the 1978 edition. The event was staged at the International Convention Center. The presenters were Daniel Pe'er and Yardena Arazi.

Hebrew language Semitic language native to Israel

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel; the modern version of which is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.



The group was formed for the purpose of performing in the contest when the song's original performers, the band Hakol Over Habibi (similarly made up of a female lead vocalist and three male backing vocalists), declined the opportunity to sing it. [2]

Hakol Over Habibi band

Hakol Over Habibi was an Israeli musical band which represented their country in Eurovision Song Contest 1981 with the song "Halayla". The band consisted of: Shlomit Aharon, Kikki Rothstein, Yuval Dor and Ami Mendelman. They had originally been offered the song "Hallelujah" as a potential Eurovision entry in 1978 but turned it down. The song went on to represent Israel in 1979 but was performed by Gali Atari and Milk and Honey winning that year contest.

This was the fourth occasion on which the host country had won the contest (Switzerland, Spain and Luxembourg had achieved the feat before this) and there are two more such occasions to date (Ireland winning once in Millstreet and once more in Dublin). Israel could neither host nor compete in the next contest, which was scheduled for the same day as Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day. (The festivities of the event would clash with the somber tone of the day, which is marked in Israel with memorial services, two minutes of silence, and large numbers of visitors at military and civilian cemeteries.)

Switzerland federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Luxembourg Grand duchy in western Europe

Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.

The song is regarded as a classic of the contest due to the unique performance, in which Atari and her backing singers entered the stage one by one, rather than all together. It was also performed at the end of the Eurovision Song Contest 1999 by all the contestants as a tribute to the victims of the wars in the Balkans. It has also become something of a modern Jewish standard, recognized by many North Americans who might have never even heard of Eurovision.

Eurovision Song Contest 1999 song contest

The Eurovision Song Contest 1999 was the 44th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Jerusalem, Israel, following Dana International's win at the 1998 contest in Birmingham, United Kingdom with the song "Diva". This was Israel's third victory in the contest, and the second time hosting the event.

It was performed tenth on the night, following Germany's Dschinghis Khan with "Dschinghis Khan" and preceding France's Anne-Marie David with "Je suis l'enfant soleil". At the close of voting, it had received 125 points, placing 1st in a field of 19. According to author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, as Spain had been leading on the penultimate round of voting, this was the first time the winning song had come from behind to clinch victory on the final vote. The Spanish jury's vote gave the contest to Israel. [3]

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Dschinghis Khan German band

Dschinghis Khan is a German pop band. It was originally formed in Munich in 1979 to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest with their song "Dschinghis Khan". In 2018, there have been two groups with the name: the one led by original members Henriette Strobel and Edina Pop, and a more current group led by original member Wolfgang Heichel and Stefan Track, who replaced the late Louis Potgieter in the 2005 reunion concert.

Dschinghis Khan was the West German entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, performed in German by Dschinghis Khan. Cover versions by a number of other artists were subsequently released as singles and album tracks.

The song was succeeded as contest winner in 1980 by Johnny Logan singing "What's Another Year" for Ireland.

Johnny Logan (singer) Sherrard, Seán Patrick Michael

Johnny Logan is an Australian-born Irish singer and composer. He is known as being the only performer to have won the Eurovision Song Contest twice, in 1980 and 1987. He also composed the winning song in 1992.

Whats Another Year 1980 Johnny Logan song

"What's Another Year" was Johnny Logan's first Eurovision Song Contest winner, achieving success in the 1980 edition of the Contest. This was Ireland's second Contest victory. Composed by Shay Healy, the song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in May.

Republic of Ireland Ireland, a country in north-western Europe, occupying 5/6 of the island of Ireland; succeeded the Irish Free State (1937)

Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern part of the island, and whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, and an elected President who serves as the largely ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the Taoiseach in turn appoints other government ministers.

Israel did not enter the 1980 Contest, which would have been held in that country had they entered (it was in fact held in The Hague). Israel returned to the fold for the 1981 Contest, where this song was succeeded as Israeli representative by Hakol Over Habibi with "Halayla".

To celebrate Israel's 70th year of independence, the Israeli Culture and Sports Ministry released an updated version of the song. The updated version was sung by Gali Atari and pop superstar Eden Ben Zaken and was performed in Jerusalem at the official state ceremony. [4]

Chart position

Chart (1979)Peak
United Kingdom5

Cover versions

The husband-and-wife singing duo of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme released the song in early 1979 on Warner Brothers Records. The song was a modest hit on the adult contemporary chart, and the couple also performed it on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson . They also recorded a live version which was released on Applause Records in 1982.

In 1987, the Oshrat's composition was covered by Marika Gombitová, Karel Gott and Josef Laufer, and recorded under title Hrajme píseň (English: Let's Play a Song) in Czechoslovakia. As a trio (featuring solo part performed by Czech actress Věra Galatíková), the song was presented on November 1, 1987, and with alternate lyrics by Zdeněk Borovec during the pre-filmed live show Abeceda: G+L created by Česká televize. [5] [6]

There is also a undocumented Polish version by Eleni Tzoka, recorded under title "Alleluja miłość twa".

See also

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  1. Born Again, Richard Oestermann
  2. The real story behind Hallelujah revealed, Maariv, August 23, 2006
  3. O'Connor, John Kennedy (2007). The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. UK: Carlton Books. ISBN   978-1-84442-994-3.
  4. "Israel Readies for 70th Anniversary in Song". Jerusalem Post. March 26, 2018.
  5. Graclík & Nekvapil 2008 , pp. 177, 424.
  6. Lehotský 2008a , p. 31.
Preceded by
"A-Ba-Ni-Bi" by Izhar Cohen & Alphabeta
Eurovision Song Contest winners
Succeeded by
"What's Another Year" by Johnny Logan