Shampoo Queen #2

I hope this does not turn in to a wartime tradition. After the last Lebanon war, I posted a rough translation from a song that was featured in Shampoo Queen (or Queen of The Bath), Hanoch Levin‘s provocative satire about the Israeli consensus surrounding militarism and national schovinism, specifically following the 1967 victory.

A lot of these themes remain relevant today. Because of the illegal nature of our actions in Gaza, I thought I would share the following song. Please excuse my rough translation:

The Ten Commandments

On a sunny and pleasant spring morning
We all rose as one man
Strong and invigorated people
Of good stature and brave
We rose and we climbed mount Sinai
Where we received the word of The Lord
We climbed proud with song and poem
The word of The Lord to return.

First conclusion, for security needs
We tossed to the sky the first commandment
After that we also tossed the second commandment
It too, because of the security situation
After the second, the third came next
An understood act of a state under siege,
And this naturally includes
In the same package the fourth commandment

The fourth commandment, and the fifth with it
Because ‘If he come to slay thee, forestall by slaying him’
And with a similar cause of the struggle for existence
Will throw the sixth away with urgency
It was necessary and so justified
That the seven commandment was tossed too.

After it the eighth and the ninth with it
Both for reason of battlefield morale
And to finish with an even number
The tenth commandment was sent with the others.

On a sunny and pleasant spring morning
We all returned as one man
Strong and invigorated people
Of good stature and brave
Our heads held high
Our shoulders light
Filling our lungs with air.

I found on the internets a video about the Shampoo Queen scandal. It features the song above. If I had all the time in the world, I would have translated it. My favorite quote there comes after a high-school student asks the IDF’s chief of staff, Bar-Lev, if “The Queen of The Bath” has hurt the army’s morale. Bar-Lev replies “A week ago I went to an IDF outpost in Sinai and asked the soldiers ‘what is your opinion regarding The Queen of The Bath?’ they answered ‘Bring the queen, we will give her a bath over here!'”. I love that quote because it plays so well into Levin’s critique of a militarized society.

Shampoo Queen #2