Shir Hodu: Jewish song from Bombay of the '30s

Shir Hodu is the Hebrew for Song of Praise. It also means Song of India.

This CD is the second in our series of remastered 78 recordings of Jewish song featuring Jewish singers and instrumentalists from Iraq and India.

Following leads for these long lost original recordings Julian Futter and Dr Sara Manasseh were able to produce this extraordinary compilation of professional recordings in the Bene Israel and Baghdadian Jewish traditions, made originally on the King, Hebrew and Jay Bharat Record labels.

Among the performers, all well-known in their communities, are Hazzanim (cantors, prayer leaders) and shofar (Rams horn) blowers, a meat shop owner, music school directors, and instrumental stars of the Indian cinema.

This musical link with the past has been vividly brought to life by the memories and photos of the descendants, relatives and friends of the singers and instrumentalists, gathered from across the globe.

The CD comes with a copiously illustrated 24-page booklet that will serve as a valuable source for future researchers into Indian Jewish musical traditions.

Sensitive remastering allows us to hear these recordings as they have never been heard before.

Produced by Julian Futter & Dr. Sara Manasseh

Click here for more information and to purchase it.

Treasures  CD - by Rivers of Babylon

Dr. Sara Manasseh, is the founder and musical director of Rivers of Babylon, a group who specialise in the religious and secular music of the Iraqi Jewish tradition: instrumentals, folk songs and hymns (shbahoth) for Sabbaths, festivals and life cycle events, sung in Hebrewin the Babylonian (Iraqi) pronunciation, Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic and Arabic. The melodies are composed in the melodic modes (angham or maqamat) of Arab music, and reflect characteristics of Iraqi folk song.  

Listen to the following excerpts:
k eshmrh shabbth
yom hashabbth
l liyyhu
y nbi




1  k eshmrh shabbth

Because I keep the Sabbath


2  dror yiqr

Proclaim freedom


3  lohy 'oz thillth

God of strength, my praise


4  yhh ribbn 'lam

Lord, master of the world


5  yom hashabbth

The Sabbath day


6  liyyhu liyyhu

Elijah Elijah! (end of Sabbath)


7  l liyyhu

God of Elijah (end of Sabbath)


8  baln-b balwa

He plagues me with a plague!


9  mth ath hathnnu

Truly, you are our bridegroom


10 smn rosh 'al kol oybai

Place me above my foes (Prm)


11 yom simhh

Day of rejoicing (Simath torh)


12 snai snai

Mount Sinai (Simhath torh)


13 y nbi

Oh Prophet! (Life cycle; Pilgrimage)


Click here to purchase it from the Rivers of Babylon website.

Shbahoth from the 1920s

CD by the Hazzanim: Hagguli Shummel Darzi, Selim Daoud, Yishaq Maroudy,
Shlomo Mouallim and the Israelite Choir.

A rare and exciting CD of authentic pizmonim and music for different occasions, recorded by Jewish Hazzanim and musicians in Iraq, before the mass exodus of Jews from that country. It includes pizmonim for various occasions in the Jewish calendar and life-cycle.

Shbahoth is the Babylonian (Iraqi) Jewish term for songs of praise. This anthology presents for the first time on CD the greatest of the Iraqi Jewish singers accompanied by the finest instrumentalists in historical recordings from the 1920s. This reissue, in carefully remastered sound, echoes two millennia of tradition.

Following a chance discovery by Julian Futter of the original 78s (which included unissued test pressings), Mr. Futter and Dr Sara Manasseh decided to make these records available again.

Dr Sara Manasseh's illuminating sleeve notes place the music in its religious perspective and makes it accessible to the non-specialist listener

Click here to purchase it or for more information .

Contact Dr Sara Manasseh


Copyright Sara Manasseh