Discover the Music
Browse through each song book or search the entire collection.
A folk song (text and music published by S. Kisselgof in 1911) that jests about the poverty and mean fare of the Jews in the Old Country. The folklorist Meir Noy of Israel published in Yeda Am an interesting and unknown version of the song that was popular among the Jewish soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. There are several stanzas in addition to the bulbes-refrain, one is: “Must one only eat meat and have a fat belly? In time of poverty potatoes are also a delicacy.”
Words by Moyshe Bassin (1898-1971); music by Yosl Rumshinsky (1881-1958). Published in sheet music by Metro Music Co., N.Y., 1954.
The allegorical song refers to the marriage between the Torah and the people of Israel which took place on Mount Sinai, with Moses officiating as matchmaker. It is folklorized from a poem “Der yikhes-shidekh” by Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908) published in 1866. The words and music were published by S. Kisselgof in 1911. The song was in the repertory of singers. Sidor Belarsky and Mascha Benya Matz, who sang it together on the recording Amol iz geven a mayse, compiled and narrated by Yosl Mlotek.
This humorous song (originally titled Dos Gute Kepl) by Velvl Zbarzher (1826(?)-1883) is a satire upon the alleged miracles performed by the Hassidic rabbis. The song was first heard during the Haskalah period in Eastern Europe, when satirizing fanatic beliefs was in vogue. Many singers today erroneously interpret this song literally, as one that expresses the wonders of the rabbis. The song was later parodied during the 1905 revolutionary period to “go to the working man and learn wisdom from him.”
Text by Mark Markovich Warshawsky (1840-1907), author and composer of many Yiddish song favorites like “Oyfn pripetshik,” (At the fireplace), “Di mizinke oysgegebn” (The youngest daughter’s wedding) and others. Text and music published in Yidishe folkslider (Warsaw, 1917) and in an arrangement by Leo Low in sheet music by Jos. P. Katz, N.Y., 1917.
Words are by Reuven Lifshutz (1918 – 1975), author of a collection of songs and poems that were written in the Warsaw ghetto and in a Displaced Persons camp in Munich. He survived the war and lived in Chicago. The melody is a popular street tune.
Words by Yitskhok Perlov (1911-1980); music by Lola Folman (1908-1979). The song was submitted by Hershl Altman, Bronx, N.Y. who heard Lola Folman sing it in the DP Camp Ziegenheim, Germany, in 1945. At that time, he writes, she was touring with her husband, Yitskhok Perlov, to bring comfort to the survivors. In this country the song was popularized by actress Mina Bern, who submitted the melody.
Words by playwright and ethnographer Sh. Ansky, pen name of S. Rapoport (1863-1920), author of the famous Yiddish play The Dybbuk. The melody published here has been sung by Nekhama Lipshutz, Ben Bonus and Emil Gorovets. It was transcribed from Gorovets’ recording.
Words by Wolf Younin (1908-1984); music by Vladimir Heifetz (1893-1970). Published in sheet music by Metro Music Co., N.Y., 1952. An adaptation for children appears in Yosl Mlotek’s textbook Yidishe kinder-alef (Jewish Children-A), N.Y., 1971.
Folklorized song of the underworld, published by S. Lehman in Warsaw (1928), who writes that the song arose during the German occupation in Poland during World War I. It also appeared in the VIVO Filologishe shriftn, V, 1938. According to the sheet music published in this country, the words are by Gus Goldstein, music by Max Leibowitz, published by S. Schenker Co., N.Y. in 1920. The song was submitted to the Perl by the following readers: Sam Adler, Studio City, Ca.; Godl Jacobson, Hallandale, Fla., Abraham Arbetman, LA., Hershl Altman, Bronx, NY., Jacob Schaefer, L.A., Kh. Tselemenski, Montreal, Victor Weitzman, North Miami Beach and Chaim Sheskin, Brooklyn, N.Y. It was sung by Lillian Klempner in the film Image Before My Eyes produced by Josh Waletzky.
Folklorized version of a song by Mikhl Gordon (1823-1890), author of such popular songs that are considered folk songs like Di Mashke, Di Shtifmuter, As Ikh Volt Gehat Dem Keysers Oytsres, Fun Der Khupe Tsu Der Stude, and others. Di Bord was originally published, like others, anonymously “fun a groysin khosid” in 1868 out of fear of the Hassidim. The author included with revisions in his second collection in 1889, under his real name. This song, written during the Haskalah period in Russia, pokes fun, through the personification of the beard, at the tragic reactions to changes in traditional practices and appearances. The folklorized version was collected and published by Chana Mlotek in 1951.
Words by Y. L. Peretz (1852-1915); music by M. Shneyer (1885-1942). Published by M. Kipnis in 1918. The composer’s name was kindly furnished by musicologists lssachar Fater and Meir Noy, Tel Aviv.
Folk song. Text published by Ginzburg and Marek in 1901; text and music published by the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music in 1909. The theme of the bitter and harsh treatment of a young bride by her in-laws is a popular one in the Yiddish folk song. The golden peacock became the poetic symbol of the Yiddish folk song, carrying messages and greetings from loved ones. The theme was adopted by such modern Yiddish poets as M.L. Halpern, Itsik Manger and others.