Thursday, January 17, 2013

Moroccan Jewish songs 'take up' the mini-skirt


A wonderful entry at Chris Silver's Jewish Morocco blog, 'taking up' the love affair Moroccan-Jewish song has had with the mini-skirt (with thanks: Michelle):

 As this blog has revealed, North African music has never shirked from addressing the most taboo of topics in song. In fact, drugs, politics, and sex have been dealt with extensively since the very first recordings were made in the Maghreb.

Moroccan Jewish musicians continued this tradition upon arrival in Israel. Jo Amar sang about discrimination, Sami Amar chanted about war, Judah Assaraf weighed in on politics, Maurice Lusky satirized drinking, and Petit Armand revealed the trappings of family life.  Searching through my record collection for this post I discovered a particularly curious phenomenon in light of the propensity of these pop stars to take on anything and everything. To my delight, the mini skirt came up (pardon the pun) in chanson after chanson. Even the universally respected Sliman Elmaghribi, the subject of a future post, weighed in on the fashion phenomenon.
Sliman Elmaghribi. Mini. Zakiphone. 1960s.
Moroccan Jews were not alone in taking up the cause of or against the mini skirt. Whether or not they knew it, Jews were often “singing in unison” with their North African Muslim counterparts, who addressed skirt length in countless records.
Salem Djilali. Atagua Mini Jupe. Boussiphone. 1960s (c/o Toukadime)
So without further adieu, I present you with Mini by Esther Elfassy. the Moroccan-born, Israel-reared chanteuse who has been featured on this blog before. Elfassy provides us with what may be the definitive Arabic ode to the mini skirt. Take a listen to her 1970s hit (written by Moshe Ben Hamo, recorded in Jaffa, and pressed in Holon) below and pass along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please dont think I am boasting, but we Jews from Arab lands are gifted in many ways We absorbed the cultures of our countries of exile after The Temple's distruction.
The same thing could be said for Jews from Russia or any other expats!
Countries that have kicked us out have made a huge mistake, they deprived themselves of real talent!
sultana latifa
a Jewish refugee from Egypt