Screenshot from "The Day Will Come"
Screenshot from "The Day Will Come"

Sunnyvale sabra scores another pandemic YouTube hit

As the one-year anniversary of school closures in California approached a few months ago, Sunnyvale singer-songwriter and mother of four Ifat Orgad decided to channel her frustration into music.

She created the song “Another Window on Zoom,” and for the video, she had a group of parents dressed in black in a Zoom-like grid singing (to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”): “We hate online education. We really feel we’ve lost control.”

Then their dour-looking children appear and plead, “Hey! People! Bring us back to school.”

The video quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views, fueled, in part, by France’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, who tweeted a link to it. Shortly afterward, however, YouTube removed it, citing a copyright claim by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters. It can still be viewed on Facebook.

Now, Orgad has scored another popular, pandemic-related music video, and this time she has permission to use the music of the song on which it is based. Her “The Day Will Come” is a gospel-infused, multilingual song anticipating the end of the pandemic, when we “won’t check stats anymore … we’ll kiss our parents, grandparents, nephews and uncles [and] everything is back to how it used to be.”

Local singers recorded verses in 11 different languages, including Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese — and Orgad even sang a few lines herself in Hebrew.

A native of Israel who has lived in the Bay Area for 11 years, Orgad worked with producers Gil Friedman, Itay Taragano and Avital Fighel on the song. Since its debut on May 26, the video has been viewed 123,000 times. (An all-Hebrew version has been viewed 22,500 times.)

Orgad told J. that given the success of “Another Window on Zoom,” she was not surprised by how quickly her latest video took off.

Ifat Orgad
Ifat Orgad

“I thought people would like it and share it because it’s something the whole world is longing for,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in India or Israel or Brazil. Everybody wants the same thing, everybody wants the corona to be totally over.” (Covid is referred to as “corona” in Hebrew.)

“The Day Will Come” is an adaptation of a hit song from the 1972 civil rights-themed Israeli musical “Don’t Call Me Black!” The lyrics of the original song, “Yom Yavo” (which means “The Day Will Come” in Hebrew), were written by renowned Israeli composer and playwright Dan Almagor and may have been inspired by the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The song has been covered many times, including last year as part of an anti-racism campaign in Israel. Orgad recalled her father playing “Yom Yavo” at home in Jerusalem, with the whole family singing along.

“This is the most optimistic song I know, that’s why I decided to use it,” she said, noting that she reached out to Almagor and the other rights-holders to get the OK to adapt the song. “They were really excited about this project,” she attested.

In her version, she deliberately put the Arabic and Hebrew verses together in order to emphasize that “we are all in it together, and it doesn’t matter where you live, music unites us.”

Before the pandemic, Orgad, 45, produced Hebrew-language theater shows for children and organized West Coast tours for Israeli rock and pop singers, including Ehud Banai, Izhar Ashdot and Danny Robas. She said she looks forward to getting back to planning such tours when the pandemic is over.

“It’s very, very important to me to keep the Israeli community here connected to Israeli music,” she said.

Andrew Esensten
Andrew Esensten

Andrew Esensten is the culture editor of J. Previously, he was a staff writer for the English-language edition of Haaretz based in Tel Aviv. Follow him on Twitter @esensten.