Coat of Many Colors
“Letting some light in…” – Meir Ariel’s “Coat of Many Colors”
During the 80’s and 90’s many immigrants from Ethiopia and the Former Soviet Union made Aliyah to Israel. The military radio station “Galei Zahal” produced the song “Coat of Many Colors” as part of a public awareness campaign initiated by the Ministry of Absorption, which was aimed at encouraging the acceptance of new immigrants. The lyrics were written by Meir Ariel, who chose the metaphor of Joseph’s “Coat of Many Colors” to describe the “diversity of colors” that comprise Israeli society, with each color or hue representing a different cultural origin. The music was composed by Arkadi Duchin, who both arranged the song and also performed it, along with an especially large group of well know vocalists, who represented the diverse mosaic of Israeli society (as reflected in the lyrics of the song). The main objective of the song was to promote the value of tolerance towards others and awareness of the diversity and human variety that characterizes Israeli society. The song was broadcast often, both on the Galei Zahal radio station and in other media. The diversity of the singers and the sensitive subject matter made the song well known, and as a result, it was often played in situations relating to the acceptance of others in Israel. It appears that the song seeks to take Joseph’s “Coat of Many Colors”, which provoked hate and jealousy between the brothers, and present it anew with its original intention: a symbol of love and uniqueness.
Click here to read and and download the lyrics.