Shirat HaSticker (The Sticker Song): the multiple voices within the Israeli community

Shirat HaSticker (“The Sticker Song”) is a song by the Israeli Hip-Hop band, Hadag Nachash. The songs title is a reference to the source of the song lyrics; all the lyrics are taken from bumper stickers or popular slogans (with some slight altercations at times).  Consequently, the lyrics juxtapose a diverse number of opinions. The music video features a diverse group of people representing different sectors of Israeli society: an IDF soldier, policeman, an ultra-orthodox Jew, a religious Jew, an Arab, a mother, an Ethiopian Jew, and several other less identifiable characters, mirroring the diversity of viewpoints expressed in the song. The music video  concludes with all the characters stickering a mirror with a large number of bumper stickers, some quotes in the song lyrics and others not.

This song and music video deal with several themes we addressed in class. First off, the song lyrics deal with appropriation:  the lyrics are all derived from popular slogans or bumper stickers. By juxtaposing contrasting opinions, the song successfully conveys that the Israeli population is not as monolithic as the media and American politics at times express it to be. When one calls an American politician pro-Israel the implication is usually that the politician holds what are considered in Israel to be right-wing views. This song, however, through its appropriation of bumper sticker slogans, breaks down this generalization of the Israeli society.

 

Furthermore, the song deals with the politics of representation. Often the characters in the music video sing lines that one would not attribute to their character: the Arab sings that “There’s no peace with the Arabs,” a mother holding a baby states that “combat is the greatest,” an orthodox Rabbi calls for “drafting everyone”, and so on.  There is obviously a lot of ironic overtones to this representation, but it also further stresses the earlier theme, illustrating that even within specific communities in the Israeli population, there is room for a variety of opinions. Overall, the music video accomplishes the goal of illustrating that Israel is a nation of a lot of different, often conflicting issues, ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the media’s representation of Israel.

 

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