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| I'll Sing to Hashem |

Doody Rosenberg: It Was His Belief in Me

"Even 50 years later, a kumzitz in the UK is incomplete without a selection of Yigal’s compositions"

Back in 1970, I was a soloist on Yigal’s first album, Ma Navu. I remember that there were several chassidishe boys in the choir, and it took countless times at rehearsals for them to repeat “Mah novu” as opposed to “Ma nuvi,” much to Yigal’s chagrin. In those days, the rehearsals took place in Colberg Place, in Stamford Hill, where Yigal’s parents lived. We “Golders Greeners” made the weekly trek all the way there and back to be part of this experience. “Shimu Melachim,” one of the highlights of that album, was created from the sheer inspiration of the words of Shiras Devorah. If you follow the melody, you will see the music portraying the words profoundly.

I believe what sets Yigal’s songs apart is the “singability” element and their timelessness. Even 50 years later, a kumzitz in the UK is incomplete without a selection of Yigal’s compositions. They express deep understanding of the text and are faithful to genuine Jewish music.

My contribution to the London School of Jewish Song was the entire repertoire of songs, 11 in total, on the 10th Anniversary Celebration album — that’s the one framed by the Union Jack. I recall that the producer was not fond of the way I signed my name (Doody) and changed it to Dody.

Yigal certainly encouraged me to continue composing music. When a song was in the middle of formation, and I was excited, he would come round to my home at any hour, and we would sit together around the piano and tweak it to completion. In honesty, I never saw myself as composing — I genuinely experienced a siyata d’Shmaya that manifested into melody, but I don’t put it down to talent. It was his belief in me and his praise that gave me the impetus to persevere.

 

 

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 870)

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