SHEMER, NAOMI. 1930-2004. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("Naomi Shemer") being the lyrics for "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" ("Jerusalem of Gold"), including the verse added c. June 10, 1967 at the end of the Six-Day War, 1 p, 137 x 196 mm, in Hebrew, ink on paper in 4 columns, after June 10, 1967, minor foxing.
WITH: Autograph Musical Manuscript Signed ("Naomi Shemer") being the music for "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" ("Jerusalem of Gold"), 1 p, 170 x 248 mm, in pencil on paper trimmed to 7-staves, titled at the head, with autograph notes in Hebrew in the margins: "play one octave higher," "change at the end of song," etc, additional bar to the verso.
WITH: Printed booklet, Yerushalalyim Shel Zahav/ Music and Lyrics: Naomi Shemer, Tel Aviv, Arieli Press, on or before June 28, 1967 (the copy in the Shemer archive dedicated to her mother bears this date). Reproducing the music and lyrics, the lyrics in Hebrew nearly exactly as our manuscript with the added verse, the rear cover with lyrics in Hebrew transcription, without the added verse indicating it was prepared before June 10. SIGNED by Shemer on the front cover and dated July 13, 1967.
Provenance: Yermiyahu "Yerri" Rimon (1933-2018, pre-eminent collector of Israeli history), annotated by him in pencil in July 1994.
CONTEMPORARY AUTOGRAPH MUSICAL MANUSCRIPT FOR ISRAEL'S MOST POPULAR SONG AND IT'S UNOFFICIAL NATIONAL ANTHEM, "JERUSALEM OF GOLD." Written by famed Israeli poet and songwriter Naomi Shemer as a special commission by the mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek for the Israeli Song Festival, May 15, 1967, "Jerusalem of Gold" tells of the yearning of the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem. Writing while Jerusalem was still a divided city, Shemer captured both the beauty of Jerusalem (the imagery of Rabbi Akiva and the golden crown), as well as the promise of better days to come.
Almost immediately, the song became the unofficial anthem of the Israeli military. On the day of the songs debut, the Egyptian army rolled into the Sinai Desert, and on June 5, 1967, Israeli forces launched a pre-emptive strike in response to Egypt's closing of the Straits of Tiran. Fighting against a coalition of Arab states, Israel captured the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, as well as the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Old City. When IDF forces liberated the Old City of Jerusalem on June 7, they prayed and sang "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" in triumph. Kollek soon telegraphed Shemer in the Sinai with her IDF band asking her to add a new verse to celebrate. Inspired by what had just taken place, she promptly did so:
"The wells are filled again with water, The square with joyous crowd,
On the Temple Mount within the City, The shofar calls out loud."
We know of no other contemporary autograph copy of "Jerusalem of Gold" having been sold. A later copy signed by Shemer was donated by her to benefit the Friends of the Israel Air Force. The lyrics helped inspire an American philanthropist's $1,000,000 gift at the "Israel Air Force at 50" gala in 1998. Though it is possible that she penned or signed other later fair copies. The only other known contemporary copy is the one sent to her mother now located in the Shemer Archive at the National Library of Israel.