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Shabbos Frivolity: Adir Hu

Since I didn’t write about Passover last week, I thought I would go back and write something about my favorite Passover song, Adir Hu. I was just going to embed somebody singing the thing, and then talk about the structure and the lyrics: the verses comprise an acrostic of adjectives describing the Divine, with one in the first verse, three in the second, four in the third, ten in the fourth and then four in the fifth and final verse. I vastly enjoy the build up and then the ludicrous extension of that fourth verse, where we sing that the Divine is tahor, yachid, kabir, lamud, melekh, nora, sagiv, izuz, podeh, and tzadik.

So. I went to look for somebody with a nice performance of the thing, and found this.

That’s pretty awesome, but it’s not my Adir Hu. An extended search through some video sites turned up lots of versions of that melody, and a few versions of a few other melodies, but nothing in my melody. I was eventually able to find sites with the melody embedded in them such as the zemirot database, which is kind of a cool thing.

But what is really an amazingly cool awesome thing is the Reflections project, which has nine melodies, all able to be played or downloaded as sheet music, and most of which come with histories for the family that used that tune. Not just Adir Hu, mind you. A couple of Hinei Ma Tovs. A couple of L’Cha Dodis, of course. From the Seder, three Hodu Ladonai Ki Tovs. Ten Echod Mi Yodeas. Fifteen Chad Gadyas. They are all taken from the UK, mostly Sefardim is my impression, but still. Cool.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Have you seen the Library of Congress National Jukebox yet? Here's all the songs from the project in Yiddish. The whole project is very interesting, though it doesn't have as much useful information as the things you link above.

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