Marc Lavry, Conductor
Kol Zion Lagola Choir
Kol Israel Symphony Orchestra (the Broadcasting Service Orchestra)
Variations: The song Kitatenu Balayla Tsoedet was arranged for:
- Men’s choir and orchestra
- Men’s choir and piano
- Symphonic band
- Mixed choir and orchestra
Lyrics: Avraham Broides
Duration: 2:41 minutes
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On May 15, 1948 lyricist Avraham Broides collaborated with Marc Lavry to write the march Kitatenu Balayla Tsoedet (Our Squad Marches at Night) to celebrate the newly formed Israeli state.
The declaration of independence of the state of Israel was made on May 14, 1948. In a January 23, 1963 interview with Meir Harnik for Kol Israel (The Israeli Broadcasting Service) Lavry said: “It was per [Prime Minister] Ben Gurion’s assertive demand that on May 15th the radio should broadcast a [national] march, yet we did not have one. They put Broides and me in a room for the night and we wrote the song. In the morning we recorded it in the Habima Hall. [The explosion sounds of the first attack of Independence War that erupted while we were recording] disturbed the soundtrack. These noises remained in the recording and this is the way the song was broadcasted in Israel.”
The song was an instant hit and became the official march of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces.)
The version of Kitatenu Balayla Tsoedet for orchestra has since been played in most army parades.
The first phrase of the march was used as the signal (jingle) of the military radio station (Galei Zahal) for over 25 years.
Anecdote: During the first cease-fire of the Independence War a squad of soldiers impulsively drove to Lavry’s residence in Tel-Aviv, stood on a flatbed truck and showed their gratitude by serenading him the song.