WATCH: The Maccabeats take 'Despacito' to new Hebrew heights

The Maccabeats release a music video of a mostly Hebrew language version of the hit summer song.

September 4, 2017 16:19
1 minute read.
The Maccabeats perform a Hebrew version of 'Despacito'

The Maccabeats perform a Hebrew version of 'Despacito'. (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)


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It's undoubtedly the song of the summer. With more than 3 billion views on YouTube and near-constant radio play, Despacito - the catchy Spanish-language pop tune - is inescapable.

And now, the Maccabeats, easily the best-known Jewish acapella group around, have released a video with a mostly Hebrew-language version of the song.

The seven-person group, however, didn't write the lyrics; they were originally penned by Itzik Shamli and performed by Amram Adar. But the boy band-without-instruments gives it its very own American-accented Hebrew take.

The chorus keeps the word "Despacito," which means "slowly" in Spanish, and fills it out with Hebrew, telling listeners to "take life slowly/ everything will come at its own pace/ any delay is for the best, believe it."

The video, created by Uri Westrich, starts out with the Maccabeats' own optimistic English lyrics: "I need a sunrise on my darkest day/ Quit this feeling I just can't shake/ Learn how to savor every moment slowly, slowly."

The Maccabeats' hit tunes like "Candlelight," "Burn" and "Dayenu" have made them a household name among the American Jewish community, and even garnered them an invitation to perform at the White House.

While it's far from three billion, the Maccabeats' take on Despacito has received more than 100,000 views since it was posted less than a week ago. Shamli and Adar's version, which was uploaded two months ago, has already hit almost 800,000.

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