Rough Cuts: Haman

Update: Ben Bresky over at  Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio wrote this story about our song "Haman". Check it out here!


This is a rough cut of the new song "Haman" (now linked to the final version) that will be on our brand new album "Peripheral People" coming soon!


Ben came to me with the idea to create a song for Purim. A Latin jazz funk theme to encapsulate the holiday which is, for the young hip Jews on the move, apparently a big boozy Jewish Halloween! (I love Halloween!) If you have heard "Son of Lenny Bruce" you know my Jewisness, while strongly identified as a source of my blood and ancestry, is not necessarily in practice as a working, daily theology.

The gist is: I know the book of Esther from theology class in college, but I had never celebrated Purim. I do own "For Your Consideration" which is about a movie originally called "Home for Purim," but "A Mighty Wind" is a far better film.

Ben knew what he wanted and brought in most of the musical parts and the idea of a "Jesus Christ Superstar" (I love that Rock Opera!" about Esther and especially about Haman!

Haman
was this douchey visor to King Ahasuerus who basically didn't like this Jewish dude Mordecai because he wouldn't kiss his ass, so he decides to have him killed by genocide! That's right! I hate your ass, so I'm going to kill all of your people! No wonder Purim is a celebration of drinking and dancing and cursing Haman's name.

What Haman doesn't know is that Queen Esther, who is this Monica Belluci level of OMGness, is secretly a Jew! She risks life and limb and basically turns Haman's plot on his own ass. In the end, Mordecai is living the good life and Haman is killed on the gallows he had built for Mordecai's neck. Done and done!

What was fascinating to me, as I reread the book of Esther to write the lyrics, was how much this really works as a post holocaust myth.

First of all, God isn't a player in this play. Sure you can say he acts behind the scenes, but he is not the active character he usually is. No one talks to him and no acts are directly caused by him. This is certainly reflective of the "God is Dead" or "where was God?" vibe written about in the post holocaust world.

Second, it is a tale of self preservation in the shadow of a horrible threat. The big final act (to paraphrase Marsellus Wallace) is all about the Jews going Hasidic on Hamn's ass (and his army). Think circumcised 300.

I wrote it up, added a bridge to hold the emotion and we debuted it at the Purim celebration in March at the Vinyl Shul in Beacon Hill.... and it went a little something like this...

Haman
By Ben Margolis & Jared Lucas Nathanson

There is a scheming evil....Haman
An ego driven evil....Haman
A violent fist presented....Haman
Ahasuerus misdirected....Haman

There is a certain people
scattered abroad and dispersed
Haman told his sovereign
with a deviled tongue and whispered curse

Their laws are different from ours,
a proud king shouldn't have to tolerate
He plead for our destruction
knowing Mordecai would share our fate

Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power

I won’t bow down to evil....Haman
An ego driven evil....Haman
A violent fist presented....Haman
Ahasuerus misdirected....Haman

If I have found your favor,
and my darling if it please the king
Queen Esther asked her sovereign
to bring about old Haman’s reckoning

My life be my petition,
and my people my request
Haman seeks our destruction
Let us arm against at your behest

Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power

I won’t bow down to evil....Haman
An ego driven evil....Haman
A violent fist presented....Haman
Ahasuerus misdirected....Haman

and Mordecai ascended
honored with a life of dignity
Haman was rewarded
with the end he planned for you and me

They’ll always be a Haman
They’ll always be a darkness we must pass
They’ll always be an Esther
Bold and brave on that darkest path

Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power

Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power to protect myself
Give me the power  

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