JERUSALEM -- Israeli composer Naomi Shemer, one of the country's most beloved and prolific songwriters, died yesterday She was 74.
Mrs. Shemer wrote dozens of songs during a career that spanned more than half a century. They included many well-known children's songs as well as poems by some of Israel's most famous poets put to music.
Mrs. Shemer was born on Kibbutz Kinneret, a communal farm on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. Many of her songs spoke of the scenery of the country.
Her most famous work was ''Jerusalem of Gold." Mrs. Shemer wrote the song, an emotional ballad describing the country's attachment and yearning for the city, shortly before Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war.
It quickly became a symbol of the military victory.
After the war, Mrs. Shemer composed a fourth verse celebrating the liberation of the Old City. The song continues to serve as an unofficial national anthem and is frequently heard on the radio and at national ceremonies.
In 1983, Mrs. Shemer was awarded the Israel Prize for her contributions to Israeli music.
Along with her original works, Mrs. Shemer composed Hebrew versions of foreign verse.
She leaves her husband, two children, and four grandchildren.