A heartfelt ballad of hope and tranquility, Race the Tide’s “Dayenu” gives new life to an ancient mantra through personal catharsis achieved in darkness.
“Dayenu,” roughly translated from Hebrew, means “it would have been enough” or “it would have sufficed.” It’s a heavy statement full of humility and appreciation, originally devised in the ninth century as a song to celebrate the Jews’ exodus from Egypt – a chronicle of slavery and freedom. Centuries later, the word and all its weight continues to remind us of the past, while folks are also finding new ways to apply it to our lives.
take a breath, don’t let it all out,
let the clean air in, bring it all down
take a breath, let it fill your lungs,
let it surround your heart, just let it come
Listen: “Dayenu” – Race the Tide
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Dayenu,” the latest single from Race the Tide’s forthcoming debut album Race the Tide (out this Friday, 3/23/2018). The project of Los Angeles singer/songwriter Jesse Macht, Race the Tide merges Americana and folk elements with newer pop and alternative stylings to create something that is accessible and familiar, yet fresh at the same time. Macht dove headfirst into his music career dreams after a health scare in 2013; five years later, his vision is about to be fully realized.
A slow and heartfelt ballad full of hope and perseverance, “Dayenu” finds the singer/songwriter co-opting an old mantra, giving it new life through heavy-hearted warmth – personal catharsis achieved in a moment of tumult and darkness.
take a breath, let it cool your mouth
Let that cool air in
grab a hold, reach your hands out,
feel your fingers stretch taking over
touch my cheek, feel my face grow warmer,
can you hear my voice, are you listening
Speaking of his new single, Jesse Macht tells Atwood Magazine: “Dayenu in the Hebrew language means “It Is Enough” … When I was writing this song, in a very low moment, stuck in a blizzard in NYC, with not much to look forward to in coming weeks, this howl of a word came out of me. It truly just came out of me when I was writing the lyrics. I was searching for a mantra of acceptance and understanding. Breath has always been that tool for me.”
Macht recalls, “I started to write about the breath, the simplicity of the feeling of it, and when I built up the momentum of the song and reached a pinnacle, Dayenu came out. I didn’t even know what it meant when I said it, and I looked it up afterwards, and learned it meant “It Is Enough.” I was stunned and knew I had to follow this moment of serendipity. The song is meant for anyone in a time of crisis, to stop, focus, and concentrate on what they can control, their breath, and remember that we are owed nothing, we deserve nothing, good or bad, and that all we have is the moment to do with as we can.”
Macht chants an inclusive refrain throughout the song’s second half, calling all to join in his spiritual cleansing: “girl, father, enemy, sister, are you listening? Dayenu, to you and me…” We feel the passion in his words, as well as the turmoil and turbulence from whence they came. “Dayenu” is not a blind, naive celebration; it is an order to step out of our everday goggles, and to grasp with our hearts and minds the life we have, full of its ease and hardship, joy and pain.
We all have moments, every day, that require us to take a breath. Race the Tide’s “Dayenu” doesn’t have to be the soundtrack to our daily struggles – but it can help us take pause as we face life’s larger obstacles. Dayenu: Close your eyes and center yourself, familiarize your mind with your body, and then open your eyes, ready for whatever lies ahead.
Race the Tide’s highly-anticipated debut album is out this Friday, 3/23/2018. Stream the moving “Dayenu” in advance of this long-awaited release, exclusively on Atwood Magazine!
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📸 © Gregory Beylerian