Ten Greatest Songs of All Time

This Shabbos is called Shabbos Shirah because of the song sung at the splitting of the Red Sea. Another song is read in the haftorah, the Song of Devora. The Medrash says there will be 10 great songs for Hashem. Nine have already been sung and the tenth in the the times of Moshiach.

Here’s a list of the 10 Songs from Revach.net
1) Shiras Adam – The song Adam sang after Creation was completed: Mizmor shir l’yom hashabbos. To this day, it is part of our Friday night davening.
2) Shiras HaYam – The song at Yam Suf (Beshalach)
3) Shiras Ha’Be’er – Song of the Well in the desert (Bamidbar 21:17) when the Emorim were killed after plotting an ambush and the mountains crushed them. Their blood came up through the Be’er revealing the Nes to Bnei Yisroel.
4) Shiras Haazinu
5) Shiras Ha’Givon in Sefer Yehoshua when the sun remained up through the night to help Yehoshua in his battle.
6) Shiras Devorah in Sefer Shoftim – When Bnei Yisroel defeated the mighty Sisra’s and Yael killed Sisra himself.
7) Shiras Chana in Sefer Shmuel
8) Shiras Dovid – Tehilim 18 when Dovid was saved from Shaul
9) Shir Ha’Shirim of Shlomo Ha’Melech
10) Shir HaGeulah – This song hasn’t been sung yet; the song that will be sung in the times of Moshiach, as it says in the Book of Yeshayahu: “On that day there will be sung this song in the land of Yehuda…. (26:1)”

There are different versions of this list and other Medrashim bring
1. Shiras Mitzrayim
2. Shiras Yehoshafat

9 comments on “Ten Greatest Songs of All Time

  1. It’s too bad that only one of Dovid Hamelech’s 150 incomparable songs (Sefer Tehillim) makes the list. Kind of reminds me of the famous story of how Dovid Hamelech once said, “O HKBH, no one has sung as many songs of praise to you as I have.” Whereupon a frog hopped up to the palace window and rebuked him, “Dovid, know that we frogs have been singing thousands of songs of praise to HKBH, starting from long before you were born, and continuing long after you are gone.” Well, maybe we humans have sung nine great songs (with the tenth soon, G-d willing) but the frogs have far outshone us in the singing department! Ribet! Ribet!

  2. Reb. Heller speaks about this in “This Way Up”. She basically says that the first 9 songs were responsive or reactive and that the 10th will be proactive.

  3. I would like to submit Uncle Moishy’s “Hashem Is Here Hashem Is There Hashem Is Truly Everywhere,” and “Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe” as #1 and #2.

  4. A similar machlokes is found in the commentary to the Pesach Haggadah. Both the “zachor” and “nekeivah” versions of the phrase appear in the Haggadah: i.e., “shirah chadashah” and “shir chadash.” Ask this question again during Chol Hamoed after the two sedera, when I have dug our various haggados with their commentaries out of the Pesach boxes.

  5. RSRH says this on Psalm 96:1, but I forget if it’s in his Psalms or Siddur (second paragraph of Qabbalas Shabbos). He gets the distinction between shirah and shir from the Mekhilta on Beshalach.

  6. Rav Hirsch writes that the messianic song is different in kind and name than the other 9. The first 9 are called “shirah”, in the feminine. History was not yet over, and thus the moment of song would eventually give birth to something else. The song of the messianic era is a “shir”, in the masculine, as nothing else will be born from it. He uses this notion, e.g., in his explanation of how “Mizmor shir leyom haShabbos” must refer to the ultimate Shabbos of the messianic era, not the weekly Shabbos. Which is what fits the content.

    I am not sure what he would say about this medrash (1) listing them together nor (2) listing Shiras Adam and Shir haGeulah separately. It seems that Adam wrote a shir for the ge’ulah. Or is it just /about/ the ge’ulah?

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