Monday Double Shot: Israel’s Beatles

hqdefaultby KATIE TAYLOR

Though it lasted only three years (1973-76), Kavaret (known as Poogy abroad) is arguably the biggest Israeli rock band ever, often referred to as Israel’s Beatles, only funnier (wish I understood Hebrew).

From Tal Kra-Oz’ excellent career recap on Jewish Daily Forward:

“By April 1974, Kaveret was the Israeli representative to the Eurovision Song Contest, in Brighton, England. They performed the song “I Gave Her My Life,” ostensibly a metaphysical love song with a rousing melody. But despite Israel still licking its wounds from the Yom Kippur War, and peace with Palestinians publicly advocated by only the most radical members of the left, Sanderson snuck in the lyric “One says he’s running out of sky, when there’s enough air for a state or even two,” which hinted at the taboo two-state solution. “We thought we’d take advantage of how popular Eurovision was to deliver our message, but it was lost amidst the band’s humor,” Sanderson said. And besides, “the audience was probably too busy trying to figure out why we were wearing sweaters, and didn’t really pay much attention to the lyrics.” ABBA won that year with “Waterloo”; Kaveret tied for seventh place with Ireland’s Tina Reynolds.”

“Hamakolet” (“The Grocery”):

Natati La Chai (I Gave Her My Life):

Last Week’s Double Shot: Country songs about horses dying in blizzards

Your barista is Katie Taylor, a Portland-based writer, opera singer, director and librettist. Contact Katie at

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3 Responses.

  1. Shawn says:

    I don’t know how it happened, but in 1977 or ’78 Poogy played a set of about four or five songs at my high school (Lawrence) on Long Island, NY. I think the school’s Hebrew teacher had a connection to them. Nobody in the auditorium knew what they were singing or (in those pre-web days) who they were, but the last song, a rousing rocker, was impressive. Now I’mma scurry and learn more…. Thanks for this!

    • Shawn says:

      Having read up a bit, I see that the mini-concert at Lawrence HS must have been a couple years earlier than I recollected. Still, totally random and, in retrospect, quite cool…

    • Katie Taylor says:

      What a great story! Had you not heard them at all between then and now? I would love to have heard them live – that’s one really tight band.

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