The cannons were still roaring, snipers were still hiding in Old Jerusalem's narrow alleys and the streets were still damp with soldiers' blood when the Israeli forces which liberated the city gathered at the Amphitheatre on Mount Scopus to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem. On stage, Israel's top artists performed before the soldiers who, a few hours earlier, were fighting for every inch of land and at every corner in town. Songs about the hours of glory and about "Jerusalem of Gold" rang through the cool air of the night. And then, one of the paratroopers who fought in the city, rose from his chair, came to the microphone and gave his own version of "Jerusalem of Gold". The melody was well known, the basis for the lyrics was indeed Naomi Shemer's song, but the young soldier was describing something different from the original. The Jerusalem he had known during the battle was Jerusalem of steel, of lead, of bitter fights and of friends who will never come back. His wasn't an educated voice, he put forwards his words simply, just the way he felt them, and his deep sincerity in lyrics and interpretation, won over a whole country. "Jerusalem of Steel" is in many ways the most fitting description of what the soldiers themselves felt during this short but cruel war. Meir Ariel, this the name of the young paratrooper, went home to his kibbutz, Mishmaroth, and there wrote another song about the war, "What a jam". Both songs, performed by Ariel himself, are high points in this new collection of songs from the "Six Days War".
Some songs, written before the war, seem to fit extremely well the new atmosphere. For example, Naomi Shemer wrote "My Soldier Is Back" some time ago, yet its popularity has grown anew during the war, and it is performed here by a young and promising girl, Shula Chen, who has sung it all along the war, as part of the Nahal Group's program. Another song whose actuality was renewed is "When Peace will come", based on the very well known melody of "When the Saints Go Marching in". The way Hayarkon Bridge Trio performed it, originally, had a tremendous impact, which only increases to day, when this same group, probably the most popular Israel ever had, got together again to sing about the peace we all hope is in store for us.
The new formation of the Trio is quite similar to the two previous ones: Benny Amdursky, Yehoram Gaon and Israel Gurion. The second song they perform here, written by Dov Seltzer, a leading composer in Israel, is called: "He Was". This the other versant of victory, a heart breaking cry for those who are with us no more.
During the last weeks of May and the month of July, Aric Lavie crossed the country from south to north and from east to west, appearing before soldiers wherever they happened to be, between one battle and another, singing, entertaining and keeping the spirits high. Out of his experiences and the songs he performed before soldiers, he prepared a one man show, "From Zahal (the Israeli Army) with Love". This undoubtedly the best show based on this material, some of which couldn't possibly fit another personality than Aric's. His tremendous energy is thoroughly projected in "Joshua", a highly impetuous story about the Biblic hero, whose feats are more than similar to those performed by the Israeli Army during the first days of the month of June, 1967. No wonder the song was dedicated to General Rabin, the Chief of Staff, and no wonder that it is one of the highlights in Arie Lavie's show. At least as successful is the "Letter to Ghiora", in which a soldier writes to his son at home, asking him to take good care of his mother, "just as I would have done".
"Once I Was a Boy", is a song by Yair Rosenblum, one of the most promising composers to appear during the last year, with lyrics by David Atid, another paratrooper, friend of Meir Ariel, and like him, member of kibbutz Mishmaroth. The subject is one well known to any girl who said good bye to her boyfriend going to the war, and found out that he wasn't a boy any more, when he came home. The Nahal Group, for whom the song was composed, performs it in this album.
Yossi Banai is very well known in Israel as actor and entertainer. "Three Soldiers" was first performed during a radio variety show, and the tremendous response it received from the public seemed reason enough to include it here. The Darom Duo, two young singers on their way up, have chosen to bring to this album another song about Jerusalem, "The Wall". The world famous Nama Hendel needs no introduction. She is the only singer to appear in both the first and the second collection of war songs. Here she sings about the feelings "After the War". Orra Fuchs, another young talent whose voice has been regularly heard on the air these last months, sings "Greetings from Father", another letter from a soldier to his daughter at home.