Israeli pop singer pulls song after complaints over suicide messaging

Yardena Arazi requested radio stations no longer play her latest single "If He Goes."

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June 20, 2018 16:01
2 minute read.
yardena arazi 521

yardena arazi 521. (photo credit: illustration)

 
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Earlier this month, legendary pop singer Yardena Arazi released a new song, titled “If He Goes.” But just two weeks later, Arazi has requested that radio stations around the country stop playing it on their programs.

The reason? Complaints from families who have lost loved ones to suicide.

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The words to the song, written by Aya Korem, discuss what the singer would do if her lover should leave her.

“If he goes – I will die/ I’ll jump from the balcony/ Or respond with violence/ I’ll stick my finger in an outlet/ And cut off all the rest.”

Other verses suggest jumping in front of a train or bringing a toaster into the shower as potential methods, because “love is not a joking matter.”

But, in a radio segment on Wednesday morning, Army Radio said that Arazi had sent it and other stations a letter requesting the song no longer be played.

“In recent days, as the song has been played on the radio, I have received personal requests from the families of people who ended their lives, who are uncomfortable with the words of the song,” the letter read.

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Arazi noted that the lyrics were originally intended to be macabre, campy and humorous.

“Their words touched my heart and I could not ignore what they were saying,” Arazi added, ending with a request that radio stations please remove the song from their playlists. “It is not an easy decision to shelve a song after it has already been released,” she wrote, “but nevertheless I stand by this decision and hope that you honor it.”

Dr. Avshalom Aderet, chairman of the Path to Life NGO, who lost his son to suicide more than 20 years ago, told Army Radio that he personally reached out to Arazi about the song.

“What people don’t understand is that when a song like this is heard by young people who are at a crisis point... someone could, God forbid, say: ‘Well it’s not that bad, there’s even a song about it,’” Aderet said Wednesday morning. He said that when he heard the song, all of his feelings and memories of his son’s suicide came rushing back.

“I called Yardena Arazi yesterday and I explained to her how I saw the song,” Aderet said Wednesday.

“She understood that this song is not just fun and cool but... for certain people, people on the edge,” it can have a significant impact.

Media coverage and discussion of suicide have been particularly high over the past few weeks, after the deaths of two American public figures – designer Kate Spade and TV personality and author Anthony Bourdain.

The Israel Suicide Hotlines, run by Eran, can be reached via phone at 1201 or via SMS at 076-884-4400.

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