Driving around in our Chevy Optra More, I always have the radio tuned to Galgalatz, which I’ve mentioned in a previous post.  I cannot describe how ubiquitous the station is.  You hear it coming out of multiple stores at the mall. You have it on in the car, and stop at security outside the Technion, and can hear it coming from their speakers as well as your own.

The foreign (mostly US/UK) music they play is pretty bad, as is some of the Israeli music, but some of the songs are really good. It’s frustrating hearing the same songs over and over and not even being able to figure out the name of the singers or the songs. There were two songs in heavy rotation that I really wanted to know about, one of which all three of us know and which Noah even translated spontaneously: “Kama ze koev, that’s ‘How much it hurts!'” which we generally refer to as the “ba bada da bop ba” song, for obvious reasons. It features a raspy male voice. Galgalatz has a rule that this song must be played at least once per car trip over 20 minutes.  I have no particular desire to hear this song, but it’s very frustrating to not understand the language well enough to pick up the name of the singer and song.

There was another song, however, that I really wanted to hear again. Just as I realized how much I enjoyed it, it disappeared from the airwaves. It features a woman singing with slowly growing jazz backing music, a voice that I just find beautiful and sad and sultry.  It reminded me in some vague way of Astrud Gilberto.

When we were on our culinary tour of the Galillee, we went to a dairy that, of course, had Galgalatz on in the background.  The “ba bada da bop ba” song came on while we were tasting sheep and goat cheese.  I immediately asked our tour guide Orly if she could name the singer for me.  She consulted with the dairy maid (okay, the woman working at the dairy) and they agreed it was Yirmi Kaplan.  I searched for him on youtube, and eventually found this compilation of Israel’s current top domestic pop hits (youtube user ronnn111 makes such a mix every six months!).  It identifies the song as מעבר לגדר (Me’ever Lagader –Over the Fence).  Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be available on iTunes.

I also asked Orly if she could identify my mystery woman, and she suggested the singer might be Efrat Gosh.  Youtube revealed that wasn’t her, but I recognized her name on the radio a few days later and loved the song that came on.  I found the album, “Ah Ah Ah Ahava!” (Ah! Ah! Ah! Love!) on iTunes.

Fortunately, YouTube always displays related videos down the right edge of the screen, and clicking on a few with pictures of women revealed the singer I longed for to be Avigail Roz, singing a song called עוד מחכה לאחד (Od Mechaka La’echad–Still Waiting for the One).  It’s from a new album that’s not on iTunes, but her first album is there, and she covers Desafinado, so it was Joao Gilberto I was reminded of!

In putting together this post, and listening to the semiannual “Best of Israel” youtube videos, we found two other songs we recognize from the radio that we want to buy and iTunes makes it all so easy…