Sixty Years Old – Bat Shishim – בת שישים

Sixty Years Old – Bat Shishim – בת שישים

A song that celebrated the birthday of a kibbutz, is transformed by a rapper into a celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday.

Suggested activities

Play the ‘making of’ video, while offering translations and explanations where necessary.

Now play the new version in full.

After clarifying certain phrases and references, this is a great opportunity to talk about celebrating Israel. This is, after all, the song that the Israeli government chose as its official song for the 60th celebrations! Here we suggest three possible directions, depending upon your group.

  • Yom Ha’atzmaut is a wonderful time to appreciate the extent to which we have succeeded in establishing a place where we can be “a free people in our land”, as the line in Hatikva has it. Work your way through the song, noting where it celebrates freedom (creativity and the ability to take responsibility), peoplehood (unity and collective purpose), and the land of Israel.
  • “For she is real, and no symbol” This phrase returns throughout the song. How do you interpret this, about the State of Israel? Do you agree, thatIsraelis not a symbol? How real is it to you?
  • What do you love about Israel?
  • Write your own verses, to reflect your own perspective on Israelat its 60th anniversary.

Some background material

Mount Gilboa is a ridge above the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. In the bible, this was where King Saul fought his final battle before falling on his sword. Kibbutz Geva lies at the foot of Mount Gilboa, and is the home of the Gevatron choir. The song was originally written for the kibbutz’s 60th anniversary in1981. In the Spring, Mount Gilboa is covered with colorful wild flowers, giving the impression that it has been painted.

Transcript of the making of the 2008 version of Bat Shishim

Who knows what music Subliminal used to listen to when he was three. Hip Hop hadn’t been invented then. What we do know is that this was when the Givatron recorded their song Sixty Years Old, or On the top of the Gilboa. Now what happens when one combines these two rhythms of Israeli music? Ben Mittleman was there, saw, heard, and came back to report

They are the Givatron, identified more than anyone with songs of thelandofIsrael. They won the Israel Prize, they are an Israeli legend! So who better than them to sing the song for the State’s day of independence?

“A big day awaits her it is her day”

Subliminal: Did anyone ever try to paint the top of the Gilboa in blue? Why red?

“Sixty years according to the calendar, but in all other ways…”

Welcome to a new musical fusion – the Givatron with Kobi Shimoni, better known as Subliminal, a successful 28 year old hip hop artist. He’s always dreamed of singing with the Givatron.

– I didn’t know him at all. I heard his name for the first time last week. Even now I can hardly pronounce it… Subliminal… did I say it right?

– Nice one! What, only one week?

– And I thought – what is that? What creature is it? And I found him.

– What do you mean creature?

– And he’s nice!

Didi Manusi (lyricist of original song): He does something like this with his fingers. You know, like this, all sorts of things! He teaches us all this stuff.

All the men. One, two

Painted red…

The task is to record a for Yom Haatzmaut a new version of the song “Sixty Years Old”, that was written 26 years ago for Kibbutz Geva.

You’ve now met the main characters, and who needs to put this together, is the brain – Kobi Oshrat.

For she’s real

– Once more please

You need courage to take a classic that you composed over twenty years ago, and to turn it inside out. Simple as that.

For she is real

And no symbol nor letter

Oshrat: Nothing is sacred. I wrote a melody once. It’s not sacred!

Oshrat likes to adventure, and in this case, it seems that things were arranged on high!

Subliminal: I’m sitting in the studio, working on something, and Guy Barnea my manager walks in, and says to me “Kobi, I’ve just had a great idea! For the 60th year of the State of Israel, there’s that song “Sixty Years Old” by the Givatron – let’s do it for the 60th anniversary celebrations!” I tell him, wow great idea. His phone rings.

Oshrat: It’s me calling him. I don’t even know him. I say “Hello you are Guy Barnea, it’s Kobi Oshrat calling. I have an idea. Would you like to do a song together with Subliminal?” So he says… He nearly hit his head on the ceiling he was so surprised.

Subliminal: He couldn’t speak

The top of the Gilboa

Someone painted red

A rooster reports from the chicken coop that the day has dawned.

Manusi: They taught this song to the Russian immigrants, so they said – someone painted (tzava) red – they would do this – for the Red Army (tzava)

Painted red

– And you, what are you doing?

– I’m deep

– Tea, tea. I’ll say it like in the union – tea break.

For she is real

She’s real

Subliminal: I would like to order 6 pizzas. One with olives – mushrooms, onion – I don’t want onion

– Who wants a mushroom?

– This is a peak pizza!

– This you don’t get in Afula!

– In Afula, they give you a bottle of pop with each pizza.

– So you won’t taste the pizza.

– Right.

The pizza annihilated, back to the studio. Oshrat makes use of a relaxation of tension to bring about another small historical change…

– Stop right there. 50 people downstairs will sing you this song.

– It’s been 40 years already.

– Nu, so what are you changing… You’re changing the people’s song!

– The time has come to rearrange history

A new generation rips up the pitch

Most of them aren’t polite enough and are hot hearted.

Longing for peace, the hand is already outstretched

But if there are no teachers no one knows where to go

– That’s what the poet meant

– Do you realize how many folk dances will need to change?

– No, no the rhythm is the same

Didi Manusi has already seen a great deal in his life. He doesn’t get worked up, and leaves the stage to the youth.

Manusi: When I was the compere of some of the evenings, or when I reached the age of 75, jokingly I used to say that if the State reaches the age of 60, then this will be its national anthem.

– And it came true.

Manusi: It came true. I don’t know whether I’m going to live to 80, that’s my problem.

Subliminal: Okay, with the hands, bro.

The evening’s over, the bus from the North is already honking down below, but the guys were adamant – until the song is ready – ain’t no one leaving the studio.

And this is the result. The Givatron and Subliminal.

For she is real and no symbol- not a flag nor a letter

The past is behind her – she looks out on that which is coming

For she is real and no symbol- not a flag nor a letter

The past is behind her – she looks out on that which is coming

The past is behind her – she looks out on that which is coming

Yeah, I was born for peace, that’s right, for peace

And no, I don’t mean the junction on the Ayalon Highway

North or South, Haifa or Tel Aviv

What happened to the fields of corn all around, huh?

Let’s be merry, from cigarette to nargila

Give Baba the mike, I forgot to write down here

Let’s go. Gal, Givatron, Subliminal, taking over the parades

They’re a wall, I’m a tower

In a birthday song for our tiny country

She deserves a mazal tov because she’s changing area code

60 years according to the calendar there’s no need to worry

60 is only 6 in State Years

I love from my heart, lady

You are the one and our only


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