With an extensive ouevre of arrangements and orchestrations of Christmas music under his belt, Larry Moore decided to try his hand at Hanukkah music. He was asked by the Milken Archive to do an arrangement of Likhtelekh, a traditional Hanukkah melody, for mixed chorus. It was recorded with the original Yiddish text by the Coro Hebraeico. A few years later he decided to revisit the piece. Moore felt the text was fine, but wanted an English translation to make the piece accessible to a broader market. The trick was in finding a translation that he felt worked… and after two failed attempts he ultimately contacted Roger Bourland, publisher of Yelton Rhodes Music, who recommended Gary Bachlund, another accomplished writer and composer in the YRM “stable.”
Moore was delighted with Bachlund’s translation! Here are a few lines from the text:
Light the lamps and wonders tell. Light the lamps that hearts may swell, and dark days dispel.
Light the lamps of well-won peace. Light the lamps as battles cease. May this light increase.
Ah, Freedom won is worth such price, with God’s help which did suffice, worth each sacrifice.
Light these lamps that, as they burn, we may once again yet learn for liberty to yearn.
Likhtelekh (Light the Lamps), as recorded by the Coro Hebraeico with the original Yiddish text.