If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem: A Carlebach Chuppah Song

This audio recording features Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach singing his original melody for “If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem,” a Hebrew song often sung under the chuppah prior to the breaking of the glass, reminding us of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem even in our greatest moments of joy. The Hebrew, English and transliterated lyrics, shared below, are from Psalm 137:5-6. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925-1994), also known as the “Singing Rabbi,” composed thousands of melodies and recorded over 25 albums. 

אִם-אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָים

אִם-אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָים
תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי.
תִּדְבַּק-לְשׁוֹנִי, לְחִכִּי
אִם-לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי
אִם-לֹא אַעֲלֶה, אֶת-יְרוּשָׁלִַם
עַל, רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי.

If I forget Thee, O Jerusalem

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget her cunning.
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
If I remember thee not;
If I set not Jerusalem
above my chiefest joy.

Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim

Im eshkachech Yerushalayim,
Tishkach yemini.
Tid’bak leshoni lechiki,
Im-lo ezkereichi:
Im-lo a’aleh et Yerushalayim
al rosh simchati…