Hip-Hop Morning Prayer

Jerusalem, if I forget you,
fire not gonna come from me tongue.
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.

Something a little different: Hasidic rapper, Matisyahu taking apart Psalm 137 and dropping a little “break my stride” into it.

Yes, I know it’s been out for a few years, but it takes a while for pop-culture to reach me.

In the ancient days, we will return with no delay
Picking up the bounty and the spoils on our way
We’ve been traveling from state to state
And them don’t understand what they say
3,000 years with no place to be
And they want me to give up my milk and honey
Don’t you see, it’s not about the land or the sea
Not the country but the dwelling of his majesty


Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don’t you know that’s not the way to be


Caught up in these ways, and the worlds gone craze
Don’t you know it’s just a phase
Case of the Simon says
If I forget the truth then my words won’t penetrate
Babylon burning in the place, can’t see through the haze
Chop down all of them dirty ways,
That’s the price that you pay for selling lies to the youth
No way, not ok, oh no way, not ok, hey
Aint no one gonna break my stride
Aint no one gonna pull me down
Oh no, I got to keep on moving
Stay alive

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Joi

    I have always liked Matisyahu, especially his hit song “King Without A Crown.” He’s fun to listen to, and I like that he’s doing interesting music from a distinctly Jewish point of view, and finding success at it!

  • Karen

    Dearest Anchoress,

    I love reading your blog and sorely miss it when you are unavailable due to having a real life, but 3 am!? I can at least wait until the civil hours of the day for your pearls. Please take care of yourself.

  • newton

    “Don’t you see, it’s not about the land or the sea
    Not the country but the dwelling of his majesty”

    Right on target there. It reminded me of this:


    And this:

    “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. ” – Revelation 21:2-3

    I listened to it while I was holding my Little Fig 2, and then I showed her the blue sky that paints our window right now. I told her that Jerusalem is where we will go one day, and where her great-grandma, great-grandpa, great-uncle and great-great aunt await us right now. (My husband’s grandma died two weeks at age 87. She met Little Fig 1, but never had a chance to meet Little Fig 2.)

  • Jay

    Love Matisyahu, and the lyrics here are so powerful– like most of his lyrics. The guy is just full of praise for the Lord.

  • http://jmbalconi.stblogs.com MissJean

    Two years ago, I was introduced to an “alternative” Christian band called DemonHunter. It’s great and, for a change, the lyrics are good.

    FYI, that version of Jerusalem is the “Out Of Darkness Comes Light” version. There’s another version that’s slower, but I prefer this one.

    I’m going to check out “King Without A Crown”. Hadn’t heard of it.

    Last year

  • http://www.all4webs.com/x/w/all4yahweh His Prince Michael

    I’ve not heard the music of Matisyahu, though blessedly, his work wasn’t blacklisted and plundered
    (by the “music industry”) like the ORIGINAL HipHop
    psalmist: The Gangsta of Love

  • WPDunn71901

    Like a Sweetness in me heart now!