Newsletter: Our Squad Marches at Night


May 8, 2013 Newsletter:

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Lavry with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion

Lavry with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion

“On May 15, 1948 Prime Minister Ben-Gurion called us to his office. He urged us to rise up to the occasion and write a march song for the military of the new state [that had been declared the day before]. We, [lyricist] Avraham Broides and I, were put in a room and stayed up all night to write the song”, said Lavry at a 1963 interview about the march song Kitatenu Balayla Tsoedet (Our Squad Marches at Night).

“In the morning we recorded the song at the Habima performance center. The recording was interrupted by the sounds of the shelling of Tel Aviv. The explosions could be heard in the recording and that’s how the song was broadcast.”

The song became a hit and the anthem of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces).

“One Saturday morning during the first cease-fire of the Israeli Independence War, we heard people singing Our Squad Marches at Night by our house, at 79 Gordon Street in Tel Aviv. Marc and I immediately ran to the window (we lived on the fourth floor) and saw a squad of soldiers standing on top of a flatbed truck and singing out loudly. He graciously waved to them, they waved back and disappeared” — recalled Helena Lavry, the composer’s wife.

The first broadcast of Galey Tzahal, the Israeli military radio station, on September 24, 1950 at 6:30 pm, opened with the first line of the song Kitatenu Balayla Tsoedet (Our Squad Marches at Night), which served as the station’s jingle for many years.

The Marc Lavry Heritage Society

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