This Taste of Honey – ذوق عسل

Dear Michael,

I send you a link to a very nice song. I found it today while browsing through Shava”s records (real old vinyl-type ones). It is by Esther Ofarim, an israelian singer who was very popular in Iran before “79. During the time of the last Shah the cultural and political relations between Iran and Israel were very intense and free of major conflicts. I very much like her song “A Taste of Honey” or ذوق  عسل, not just because of the link to my name.

Have a nice evening, enjoy the song


Ghazal my dear,

Thank you so much for this song “A Taste of Honey”. When I listened to it, it brought something inside me to vibrate, like an accoustic deja-vu: I knew that I heard this melody many years ago, it was the title-melody of a saturday-afternoon TV serie, not really meant for children, but we kids were allowed to watch it. Don”t know why the director had choosen “A taste of Honey” as the title song for this serie, which was an epic about the construction of a dam, and although it was a west-german production, it glorified the working heroes at least as much as we knew it from the socialist propaganda in our own country. It is probably because I watched it every weekend while I was 10 or so, maybe over a period of more than a year, that embossed this melody in my memory for ever. But in the TV-serie, “A Taste of Honey” was played much faster, more jazz-style by a big-band and without a singer.

It was originally written by Bobby Scott and Rick Marlow as the intro for the New York premier of Shelagh Delaneys drama of the same title. It was covered by famous musicians such as Lionel Hampton, Quincy Jones, Chet Atkins, Woody Herman, The Beatles and the Hollies. Comparing Esther Ofarims version that you found among Shavas collection of old vinyls with the “Harry James Orchestra” reording below one gets an impression about the broad range of musical styles to which the original song and the story of the play-wright had inspired singers and musicians.

The jazz big-band version by the “Harry James Orchestra” was a performance at the Ed Sullivan show in 1966.

By the way, which of the two persian words in the song-title means “Asal” ?
عسل or ذوق  ?

It was interesting what you wrote about Israel and Iran and that they had such a fruitful and cooperative relationship during Shahs time. How do your parents see this ? I”m always surprised when I follow discussions on, most of the writers also express a view that is so much different from the anti-Israel stereotypes of the Ahmadenishad gouvernment. As usual, the people are much more tolerant and open-minded, whereas the active politicians like to keep the fire of hate and violence burning.

I hope you are alright, and you make progress with your PhD project and also with the project of your life.

Take Care,

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