Famous Version of "Ani Ma'amin" Composer - or Recreator - Passed Away
Motty Parnes, who composed the extremely popular melody to "Ani Maamin," the piyyut by the Rambam (Maimonides), has died, according to his cousin, Chanie Luz.
Luz said Monday that Parnes was in his mid-60s, and that he had been suffering from a degenerative disease.
This is a link to version of the song, as it appeared in a record by Pirchei Agudas Yisrael from 1969:
"From what I know about him, he was one of the first composers and instrumentalists in the hassidic musical revolution in the 60s," wrote Luz in her Facebook page. "He played in the first orchestra made up of hassidic yeshiva students, Negina, and composed the music to Ani Maamin and Pitchu Li Shaarei Tzedek, among other tunes, which virtually all religious people know."
The song is often sung at all kinds of ceremonies – including military ones, as can be seen in the video below.
Freely translated, the words mean:
"I believe with a complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he is running late, nonetheless, I will wait for him, every single day."
A commenter on Matzav, however, clarifies:
2. Comment from R. WeisbergWhatever his role, we all owe him a debt of gratitude. It is this song that has kept Kelal Yisrael yearning for Mashiah throughout the years.
Time April 8, 2013 at 8:12 PM
Although I am deeply saddened by the death of our old friend, Motty, whom my husband Itzy Weisberg recently visited in New York, your facts are erroneous, although Mutty played guitar to accompany my husband, the nigun AniMaamin was composed solely by Itzy. Had it not been for Motty however, the nigun may have been lost since my husband composed it on Shabbos in Telshe Chicago and may have forgotten it had Mutty not played it on the guitar Motzei Shabbos. Baruch Dayan Emes to a wonderful musician. This song has inspired thousands of Jews around the world, certainly in part to Motty’s amazing musical ability. May it serve as an aliyas neshoma for him.
Many good Mashiah songs have come afterwards and many versions of Ani Ma'amin have passed through time. This one, though, has a special place in my heart and in the heart of so many.
I don't know if it's because it's the first one I learned as a child or if it's because of its beautiful tune or both. It is a tune I use to rock my baby to bed and to affirm our faith at a Seudat Shelishit table. It is the epitome of Mashiah songs.
Baruch Dayan Ha'emet.