The Holy Niggun of “Lead Belly”
Some children grow up memorizing tunes from Barney, SpongeBob, and so on and so forth. Others memorize the tunes of Professor Green and The Simcha Machine (a personal favorite because we share last names!) and The Amazing Torah Bike (which frankly I still think brings to life the story of the Exodus).
That said, in my formative years, I never heard of the great Blues musician (and oft-pardoned convict) Huddie Ledbetter, popularly known as Lead Belly,” nor did I think I knew any of his tunes.“
I was wrong.
Ever since I can remember, my favorite holiday growing up was Purim. The festive atmosphere, the exchange of treats and gifts, topped off by the final mitzvah of the day, the Purim Seudah, is what makes this a day that every child continues to mark off on his or her mental calendar and looks forward to each year.
While I have spent Purim in many locations throughout the world, and while the people and the atmosphere may differ from year to year, the songs never seem to change. To that end, year after year I must sing countless times the catchy tune of: M’She, M’She M’Shenechnas Adar, Marbim, Marbim, Marbim B’Simchah. That said, only several years ago was it brought to my attention that the person who brought this niggun down to us was not The Amshinover or another such Chassidic Master?
Who was the bal m’nagen, the composer of this song, that is sang in all the yeshivas, from Merkaz HaRav to The Mirrer…?
The answer may surprise you!
It is none other then a musician known to the world as, “Lead Belly.” Enjoy watching him in action below!