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7th heaven

bob 22 Sep 98 - 09:21 AM
Bill in Alabama 22 Sep 98 - 09:48 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 22 Sep 98 - 07:07 PM
The Shambles 23 Sep 98 - 01:37 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 23 Sep 98 - 05:49 PM
Jon W. 24 Sep 98 - 04:42 PM
24 Sep 98 - 04:53 PM
Jerry Friedman 24 Sep 98 - 11:21 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 26 Sep 98 - 07:33 AM
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Subject: 7th heaven
From: bob
Date: 22 Sep 98 - 09:21 AM

I was wondering if the phrase "I'm in 7th heaven" came from a song. does anyone know?


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 22 Sep 98 - 09:48 AM

Bob-- I am certain that the phrase has been used in several, if not many, songs, but I believe that the term goes back to the old Ptolemaic theory regarding the makeup of the universe, in which Heaven was divided into seven ethereal levels, or layers, and hell was similarly partitioned. I don't have time to check the details, but I believe that John Milton, in "Paradise Lost" makes reference to this highest heaven of all. Sorry that I can't be more specific, but I'm currently pressed for time.

Bill


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 22 Sep 98 - 07:07 PM

It is in an Al Jolson song, but I think the song came from the concept and not the other way around.


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 01:37 PM

Maybe it's just as simple as seven rhyming with Heaven?


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 23 Sep 98 - 05:49 PM

According to the OED, "a state of intense joy; the highest of seven heavens in Muslim and some Jewish systems." No idea where Al Jolson came across the concept.


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From: Jon W.
Date: 24 Sep 98 - 04:42 PM

When the clock strikes five, six and seven, we'll be right in seventh heaven - Bill Haley

Seriously, if it's a Muslim concept, it may have come to America (and Jolson) from Africa aboard the slaving ships.


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From:
Date: 24 Sep 98 - 04:53 PM

it is also a judeo/christian concept - I am sure I have seen reference to the levels of heaven in the Old Testament - so the concept has been around a long time, even if not part of the popular culture.


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 24 Sep 98 - 11:21 PM

Perhaps 1 Kings 8:27--"But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" (NIV, thanks to the Bible Gateway. Maybe the people who like "systems", as the OED put it, use this as a justification for levels of heaven.

Tim, does the OED give a date for the first use? I'll bet it was a common expression when Jolson used it. (If not, there's no need to imagine him getting it from blacks who got it from slaves who got it from Muslim West Africa. Jolson was Jewish.)


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Subject: RE: 7th heaven
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 26 Sep 98 - 07:33 AM

I don't know who wrote the song. Jolson just sang it. I assume the term predates the song.


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