Music icon Tim Rice is embroiled in a dispute with a New Zealand arts festival over the removal of the word “Israel” from the lyrics to one of his “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” songs in an upcoming show.
The conflict between the famed lyricist and organizers of the Artsplash festival in Wellington has been playing out on Twitter, after a local resident pointed out that the phrase “Children of Israel” had been amended to “Children of Kindness” on song sheets distributed to the schoolchildren performing “Close Every Door.”
The well-known song’s original chorus, sung by Joseph in an Egyptian prison, goes: “Children of Israel are never alone / For I know I shall find / My own peace of mind / For I have been promised / A land of my own”
The concerned resident, Kate Dowling, tweeted her unhappiness over the lyric change to Wellington City Council and to Rice, displaying a screenshot of the altered song sheet. “Why opt to do a Jewish-themed song then remove the Jewish-themed lyric?” she complained.
Rice expressed his consternation in a tweet to Wellington City Council.
“This is a totally unauthorised change of lyric,” adding, “plus it’s a terribly drippy and meaningless alteration.”