Even if Israeli citizens are not surprised to learn that their beloved traditional Havah Nagilah
should be regarded as a "pub song" by certain sections of the public in Britain then they may be taken aback in that their national anthem "Hatikvah" should receive the same treatment. Please believe me, no insult is intended. A good song, somber as it is, is a good song, and that's reason enough to sing it no matter where you are. The version I sing comes from Busking for Special Occaisions
According to the Lyrics link above, its lyrics are adapted from a poem by Naftali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Zloczów (today Zolochiv, Ukraine), which was then in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria under Austrian rule. Imber wrote the first version of the poem in 1877, while he was a guest of a Jewish scholar in Iaşi Romania.