Saturday, 2 May 2009

A-ba-ni-bi - Izhar Cohen and the Alpha-Beta

The approximate translation of 'A-ba-ni-bi' is 'I love you'. So the title of this song is actually Hebrew, and not, as I always thought, one of those nonsensical titles which the Eurovision Song Contest became famous for. Izhar Cohen performed the song in 1978 and won the Contest, which meant that Israel won it for the very first time. Broadcasters in many of the non-participating Arab countries in North Africa and Asia who had been transmitting the contest, had to cut the broadcast when it was clear Israel was going to win. Jordanian TV famously ended the show with a still photo of a bunch of daffodils rather than acknowledge the Israeli entry.

Several cover versions of this song exist, including an Icelandic one by Paul Oscar and a beautiful, almost transcendental version by K.O.B. While this song was performed in Hebrew on the Contest, this single features the English version only.

My collection: 7" single no. 3007
Found: Plaatboef, Rotterdam, 1999
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'A-ba-ni-bi' / 'Illusions'

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