Halamti Halom (I Had a Dream)

Opus: 220 Year: 1949 
Voice and Piano
Voice and Orchestra: 1,1,1,1-2,2,1,0-timp+1-hp-str
4:00 min

Performance: Cantor Zvee Aroni

Lyrics: S. Shalom
See lyrics in Hebrew

Note: Also known as Chalamti Chalom

Additional details: email music@marclavry.org

The song “Halamti Halom” (I Dreamed a Dream) was written a few months after the establishment of the state of Israel. This is a patriotic song in which the poet S. Shalom is joyed to witness the achievements of the new state.
The poet describes how the dream of redemption from slavery and exile was realized and now the Israeli flag is flying from Beer-Sheba in the south to Dan in the north.
He writes about people’s thrill in working and the fields in full bloom. He admires the Israeli fleets in the air and sea. The poet is excited about the young military’s victory and honors the dead whose sacrifice brought freedom to the Jewish people.
He can barely internalize the miraculous establishment of the state — a dream that became reality.

The Lyrics for Halamti Halom (I Dreamed a Dream) in S. Shalom's handwriting, as he gave it to Marc Lavry

The Lyrics for Halamti Halom (I Dreamed a Dream) in S. Shalom’s handwriting, as he gave it to Marc Lavry

(transliterated from Hebrew)
Chalamti chalom ki nig’alnu pit’om
Me’avdut vegola venechar
Utchelet lavan mib’er sheva ad dan
Digleinu bagai uvahar.

Ra’iti sadot birnana ne’evadot
Veshireinu hashir shir ivri.
Ra’iti ganim porchim la’ananim
Veshelanu hanof vehapri.

Hirchakti layam vaykadmuni bayam
Oniyot yisrael, Tzi adir
Al gabi, zach kanaf
Kemal’ach bilchanav
Matos yisraeli ba’avir.

Sha’alti chayal, chamush be’eyal:
Hasisma vehagdud eich achud?
Anani be’on: hasisma nitzachon
Velitzva yisrael hu hagdud.

Sha’alti na’ara: et roshech atara
Shel shiv’at kochavim mi hikif?
Anta: zeh ha’or shel meiti hagibor
Shehadror le’amo hu heshiv.

Va’evch mitpa’em: ha’odeni cholem?
Ki harei kol zeh po lo yachziv
Achim havu yad, lo uchal od badad
Laset zeh hanes, zeh haziv.

Chalamti chalom!

I had a dream that we were suddenly freed
From slavery, diaspora and exile
And blue and white, from Beer Sheba to Dan
Our flag unfurled over valleys and mountains.

I saw fields ploughed with enthusiasm
And our song that we sing is a Hebrew song.
I saw gardens bloom up to the clouds
And ours is the landscape and the fruit.

I had gone far to the sea, to be greeted by
Israeli ships, a mighty fleet.
Above me, with its pure wings
Like an angel making music
An Israeli airplane in the air.

I asked a soldier, armed with bayonet,
His Password and Battalion, what are they?
His forceful reply, “The Password is Victory
And the Israeli Army the Battalion.”

I asked a maiden: “Your head in a halo
Who crowned it with a circle of seven stars?”
She replied: “It is the light of my dead hero
Who returned freedom to his people”.

And I will weep in a frenzy: Am I still dreaming?
Indeed, all that here has appeared will not let us down
Brothers, lend a hand, I can no longer bear alone
This miracle, this exuberant radiance.

I had a dream!