A couple of days ago my eye caught a headline in the Jerusalem Post which shocked me in disbelief which said “The Jewish Chronicle Is well worth saving,” and when I sat down to read David Isaacson’s article at my leisure I began to realize that this was not fake news but the real and tragic truth that the revered and beloved JC of my youth in England was about to leave this world for good unless some miracle or savior would come to the rescue, and then, as I sought vainly for some comforting antidote, it suddenly crept into my aged mind that somewhere in my musical past I had actually written a song in tribute to the JC and all it had achieved and was achieving for the good of the British Jewish community and indeed for world Jewry.
But what good was a song when the fate of Anglo Jewry’s most famed journal hung in the balance? What on earth could an aged Israeli singer-songwriter like myself do to help rescue this beloved mouthpiece of British Jewry from cruel liquidation even if I had spent the best part of my youthful life in England, from blitz babe to the Solomon Wolfsohn school, via the Lycee Francais de Londres and the Chelsea Synagogue, and then to Cambridge University and first full Jew in Selwyn College, before making Aliya in 1966 just before the Six Day War.
So what if, in a musical career of 50 odd years I had supposedly risen to become Israel’s leading Anglo singer songwriter by dint of over 200 songs on YouTube and a voice some had even ventured to compare to that of Elvis, what could my song do against the evil forces of the coronavirus and lack of readership as a result which were forcing the JC into liquidation.
Well, perhaps a song might achieve what no other form of support could if it could illumine and inspire hordes of similarly shocked and saddened well-wishing Jews around the world to dig deep into their pockets and bank accounts and send a message of comfort and intent to the JC staff to the effect that, “Dear and beloved JC, listening to Ben Reuven’s awesome song tribute to you has made us realize that we Jews all over the world owe you a great debt and can under no circumstances allow you and the Jewish News to disappear because without you, as Ben Reuven’s song so clearly shows, Jewish life will never be the same. And so we are sending you this token of our love, a staggering sum that will hopefully enable you to overcome the present crisis and continue to delight and illuminate our Sabbaths and weekdays as you have been doing uninterruptedly for numerous decades.”
And so, thus visibly enthused and inspired, I immediately set about preparing myself and my song for our encounter with the world and all the forces ranged against our iconic paper, and without further ado began to send my unique song around the world to all the seats of power and influence and to Jewish communities and their leaders and rabbis far and wide, comforted by the knowledge that if David’s Psalms could inspire the Jewish People for millennia so perhaps this Israeli David’s single JC Psalm could do likewise for a beloved and ailing and mortally threatened JC.
So here now is the full lyric of my song tribute to the JC called “Have You Got The JC, Baby?” which I wrote and recorded in the late 1990s in Jerusalem.
HAVE YOU GOT THE JC, BABY?
Have you got the JC, Baby?
Wanna know what’s going on,
Who’s arrived into the world
And who, G-d forbid, is gone. (X2)
Mrs. Faigenbloom had a baby girl
Moishele got engaged
It says so in the Chronicle
Honey please turn the page.
Yossi’s won the Nobel Prize
Solly just gone to Israel,
Here’s something that’s a real surprise
Blooms is up for sale.
Have you got the JC, Baby? Etc…..
The years pass by and kingdom fall
Where would Spurs be without Rosenthal?
And where would we all be
Thank G-d, my friends, for the JC.
From Patagonia to Miami
From London to Tel Aviv,
The JC covers the whole wide world
Wherever Jewish people live.
Have you got the JC, Baby? Etc….
There’s a new kosher deli in Golders Green
The Home Secretary had tea with the Queen,
Here’s something you really must see
It’s your picture in the JC.
Lord So-and-So is Jewish didn’t you know,
It must be true, it must be true, cos the JC says so!
Have you got the JC, Baby? Etc……
Jews in sport, Jews in space.
Why can’t they sit still in one place?
There’s only one time when they sit quietly
It’s when they’re reading the latest JC.
The 21st Century is almost here
Bermant writes with fire and fury
The JC plays on from year to year
The faithful organ of Anglo-Jewry.
Have you go the JC, Baby? Etc (x2)
Copyright words and music David Ben Reuven, Jerusalem, Israel
The original recording is here attached.
May this song help to ensure the continued and future survival of this essential pillar and organ of Anglo-Jewry for generations yet to come.
David Ben Reuven, Jerusalem April 20 2020
Contact details: email@example.com