The Singing Seder Table

The Singing Seder Table

I “grew up” with the Orchestra Song in Hebrew perhaps even more than in English, and of course heard and sang a version of this song for Passover: The Singing Seder Table.

The only recording of The Singing Seder Table on the internet of which I am aware is the original release, Stanley Sperber conducting the Massad Choral Group. To hear the recording, go to this site,…. Scroll down on the radio on the right side of Menorah’s Little Seder. If you are unfamiliar with this recording, consider listening to the whole record!

The recording is from the 60s. Stanley Sperber (founder of Zamir Chorale) is conducting. The words are on the album cover, which you can also view on the FAU website. The words are by Sperber, Tzippy Krieger (now Tzippy Krieger Cedar, mother of Yossi Cedar) and Ira Gronowitz.  Sperber was founder of the Zamir Chorale in New York and active in the Israeli musical scene from the 1970s.

(Gladys Gewirtz, who shared responsibility for this record, taught at Camp Ramah and at JTS, published a number of children’s records, moved to Israel, menorah's little sederworked for Kol Yisrael and established the music service at Hebrew Music College in Jerusalem. She died less than a year ago, April 14, 2012).

The original is usually called the “Orchestra Song,” popular in Hebrew and discussed in Zemereshet at According to Zemereshet, the Hebrew words are by Shmuel Bass, and it appeared in “50 Canons for Singing and Playing” (hamishim qanonim le-shira ule-neginah) by Puah Greenspoon and Max Lempel. Renanim, pp 22-23. The original was written in German by Willy Geisler (1886-1952); Zemereshet gives the German words, and notes on the Composer’s page for Geisler, that he was a Nazi and composed marches for the SS; he was also an arranger and composer of songs, operettas, and music for schools. On the website… there are a number of listed versions of the Orchestra song; the line which gives a date in the columns Melody/Year and Text/Year dates it to 1927 and calls it Die geige, sie singet (unser kleines orchester).

There are many versions of the Orchestra Song on the web in English. Here is a Hollywood version:

Seth Ward

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One Response to The Singing Seder Table

  1. תשבץ says:

    Good post. I’m experiencing some of these issues as well..

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