Jan 26, 2011

I hear music--up on the roof

"Turn off that blasted fiddle music!" my mother used to yell at me, just like moms do now about hip hop. I grew up on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. And Cape Breton had its own brand of country fiddle music. Nowadays, I guess the best recordings of that style are by Natalie MacMaster.
However, this wall hanging I'm attempting to make (with the encouragement of Tonya Ricucci's book Word Play Quilts) is about an altogether different fiddle music. One of the most successful Broadway shows, and a movie (three Academy Awards) was called Fiddler on the Roof --music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. The original story was written by Sholem Aleichem in the book Tevya and His Daughters. And the words to the L'Chaim song are: "Drink l'chaim, to life! God would like us to be joyful. Even though our hearts lie panting on the floor; ..." Actually, the saying "L'Chaim to Life." is a traditional toast. Chai--the word "Life" in English--has a lot of meaning. I could write a book about the word. I wouldn't know where to even begin. Chai is a loaded word, to say the least. I ought to do a series of wall hangings of it.
So anyhow, back to sewing, I looked up the Hebrew spelling for the word L'chaim. In Hebrew the "to" is a prefix. That's an l sound. It's the long letter on the right--Hebrew is from right to left. The letter looks like an English l on the top, see, with a long tail underneath. I have to now sew some fabric to the sides of the words and assemble them. I will then decide how to go from there, maybe some applique.

6 comments:

paula, the quilter said...

I never knew that Hebrew was read/written from right to left. See, I learned something new today. Thank you!
I have always liked the music from Fiddler on the Roof.

Clare said...

I Wish I was a Rich Man doo doo doodle dum!

I never knew Hebrew was written like that either. Thanks for the info. Very interesting.

Quilting Corner said...

Great job.
From your friends in Israel.

beth said...

Love it!

jovaliquilts said...

I have often thought about making a challah cover with free-pieced Hebrew letters for 'shalom,' but I never have. So great that you've done this! Really, really neat. :)

Roslyn said...

We saw "Fiddler" in Dallas "in the round" great fun, good music. I love your wall hanging. I have a stone on my wall with the Hebrew for "Hallelujah" engraved on it.