Date of Performance/Collection: March 16, 2018
Primary Language: English
Official pep song of the Aleph Zadek Aleph (male Jewish teen youth group). Commonly started by president/board member/event leader drawing out the first word before everyone jumps in and forms a mosh pit.
Lyrics (More shouted than sung): Up you men and sing to AZA
Time will pass and we’ll be on our way
As the years go by there will be
Happiest of memories (Ra ra ra!)
Stand and then
We’ll sing this song again
All you loyal men
Sing the praises of our order
Sing up you men of AZA
(Once it reaches this part the song usually winds down with everyone matching a “heartbeat” rhythm pattern on their chest.)
The song is a shortcut for whatever peer leader is running a given meeting or event to bring up the energy in the group and get them to pay attention in one fell swoop. The lyrics themselves serve to hype up the group and its individual members in a way that’s somewhat jingoist. No official origin is known, but the full lyrics are included in the official AZA handbooks which speaks to its deep history and significance to the folk group. The organization’s origins (also detailed in the handbook) as a very pro-American group which contributed to the nation’s WWII war effort probably explains the jingoist vibe of the piece. Little details such as the second verse present in the handbook being absent in favor of the heartbeat rhythm (explained to me once with “Every Aleph’s heart beats the same way.”) as well as the mosh pit aspect (the handbook doesn’t comment on dances for the song) indicates that the song is still a living, breathing folk tradition that defies standardization and continues to evolve in use.