Folk Song on Entebbe

Joe Glazer, a popular folk song artist specializing in trade union ballads, was so inspired by Israel’s rescue of more than 100 hostages at Entebbe Airport that he decided to commemorate the event in a folk song. Hours after the news of the heroic rescue flashed across radio and television, Glazer and four colleagues–”my mountain music chaverim” as he describes them–were recording the first song commemorating the Israeli exploit.

One stanza is: “My friends, you should have seen/The face on General Amin/When he heard the hostages were flying home. He ranted and he roared/But they were safe aboard…./Goodbye Uganda–Israel Shalom!/Hey! Hey !/Goodbye Uganda–Israel Shalom!” ((C) 1976 Collector Records).

Another stanza states: “It was early Sunday morning. Without a word of warning. Those big Israeli birds swooped from the sky. A hundred years from now/I bet they’ll still be telling how/That deed was done the Fourth Day of July.” ((C) Collector Records, 8422 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Md. 20015)

AN EVENT FOR THE AGES

“Entebbe was an event for the ages. They’re rushing out books and movies on it. A song completes the cycle.” Glazer said. Glazer, 58, has been writing and recording songs of social commentary for 25 years with 15 albums to his credit. He can barely read music. His musical education was seven guitar lessons and–as he recollects it–”forced labor in a synagogue choir when I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn. I resented the afternoon rehearsals when my pals were out playing ball.” But it got him into singing and composing.

The labor movement, which he joined as an educational director, first for the textile union and later the United Rubber Workers, started him on “those songs of social significance.” His book “Songs of Work and Protest,” coauthored with folklorist Edith Fowke, has been praised as the best in its field.

“Entebbe was my kind of moon-June song inspiration,” says Glazer. “Where could you get a bigger dose of inspiration than a fantastic 2500-mile Jewish rescue? On the fourth of July yet!”

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