Shlomo Artzi: Murder Report

Written by iconic Israeli folk-rock singer-songwriter, Shlomo Artzi, this song reflects on the 1995 assassination of then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, comparing it to the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The lyrics, provided and English below, convey the shock and mourning of Rabin’s supporters following the assassination, the first of its kind in Israel. The song also poses rhetorical questions about the future of the country, reflecting the the atmosphere of fear and division in a society which was becoming progressively polarized. Written three weeks after the murder, during a period of great political and social turbulence, the song was released on his 1996 album “Two,” which includes other songs of the same theme. The 4x certified platinum album is one of the best selling Israeli record of all times. See the chorus below in Hebrew. For the full Hebrew lyrics, click here.

Murder Report

 

On Friday in Dallas Texas, the twenty-second of November sixty-three,

 

John Kennedy called “Big Ass” was assassinated one shot in the neck and two in the head,
His funeral took place at the end of November, Harry Oswald shot him for some reason,

We were Scouts, we played football, a murder report begins without a word of love.

On Saturday in Tel Aviv – A City Without a sky, November four, Ninety-five,
He was murdered, probably twice, by two shots from an assassin’s pistol.
His funeral took place two days later, a madman shot him at close range,
We were at home, we sat just like that, then we went to cry in the square.

How many tears, how many candles?
How much madness can be identified?
How many days, how much darkness
Will it take until
All is forgotten

On Sunday in an unknown place, twenty-third of November ninety-five,
I write the song out of longing, where will I go now and what will I ask for?
These are days of rage, some say it’s like this, they are days of once with days of now
How will respite come to the land of fear, and the question remains – who else will be slain?

How many tears, how many candles?
How much madness can be identified?
How many days, how much darkness
Will it take until
All is forgotten

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