March Hachalutzim (The Pioneers’ March)

Year: 1937 
Voice and Piano

Recording: Not yet available

Lyrics: Leah Goldberg

Manuscripts: Located at the National Library of Israel Music Department, the Marc Lavry Archive, System Number(s) 990035289850205171

Synopsis: A song from the play “We Were Dreamers” by M. Rust.
The lyrics of the songs in the play were written by Leah Goldberg and Nathan Alterman. The play premiered in 1937 at the Matateh Theater.
The song March Hachalutzim (The Pioneers’ March) was performed by Esther Gamlielt, Betzalel London, and Aba’la (Ya’akov Abba) who played the pioneer characters.

Anecdote: The idea for the play and subsequently the song March Hachalutzim (The Pioneers’ March), was inspired by David Ben-Gurion (later Israel’s first Prime Minister) in his proposal to expand the borders of the tiny country of Israel in a speech at the inauguration of the Port of Tel Aviv: “Although we cannot spread east, north, or south, we can spread west and conquer the sea.”
Goldberg’s satirical song is a parody of the “madness” of the naval conquest.

Lyrics: March Hachalutzim / Leah Goldberg
(transliterated from Hebrew to English)

Hoi artzi hee ktantonet
Chamisha milion adam.
Al ye’ush! Nits’ad kadima
Venichbosh gam et hayam!

Kadima, kadima, kadima el hayam!