Ilu Finu

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Ilu Finu

A simple, contemporary Hebrew song with three independent harmony lines that sing “Let us have songs to fill our mouths as full as the sea.”

Composer & Copyright

The words are a traditional Hebrew poem, music by Rabbi Miriam Margles.


Teaching Track

From Lisa’s 2014 Song-a-Day Challenge:


Ilu finu (pinu) màlé’ shiràh kayàm.


Let us have songs to fill our mouths as full as the sea.


  • Victoria Anderson

    thank you for the song and the context

  • Marv Zauderer

    Here’s a video of Debbie teaching Not By Might:

  • Marv Zauderer

    Indeed! When it comes to Jewish songleaders, Debbie Friedman (may her memory be a blessing) is THE tower of strength for all of us, a true spiritual giant. Starting in the Jewish summer camp movement (including Camp Swig in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which so many of us Bay Area Jews attended) she became the Joni Mitchell of Jewish singing, inspiring thousands — maybe millions — of singers and songleaders. Although she was losing her voice that night, here’s her Miriam’s Song, celebrating the experience that Abeja mentioned, along with her Not By Might, a great closer: “Not by might and not by power, but by Spirit alone, shall we all live in peace.”


    My Jewish friend says: “You know the context of this song?” And told me that there are many versions of it and that this is the story:

    When Moses led the Hebrews across the Red Sea, the women danced and sang, and his sister Miriam led the women in this song.

    • Lisa G.

      Beautiful to hear this Abeja. I’ve consulted with many Jewish community members about this song but never heard this particular piece of information. Thank you!

  • Jean Kaplan


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