By Abigail Wood
The sunrise of the twenty-first century marked a turning interval for American Yiddish tradition. The 'Old global' of Yiddish-speaking jap Europe was once fading from residing reminiscence - but whilst, Yiddish track loved a renaissance of artistic curiosity, either between a more youthful iteration looking reengagement with the Yiddish language, and, such a lot prominently through the transnational revival of klezmer track. The final sector of the 20 th century and the early years of the twenty-first observed a gradual circulate of recent songbook courses and recordings in Yiddish - newly composed songs, recognized singers acting nostalgic favourites, American well known songs translated into Yiddish, theatre songs, or even a few forays into Yiddish hip hop; musicians in the meantime engaged with discourses of musical revival, post-Holocaust cultural politics, the transformation of language use, radical alterity and a brand new iteration of yankee Jewish identities. This publication explores how Yiddish track grew to become this type of effective medium for musical and ideological creativity on the twilight of the 20 th century, proposing an episode within the flowing timeline of a musical repertory - big apple on the sunrise of the twenty-first century - and outlining a number of the trajectories that Yiddish tune and its singers have taken to, and past, this element.
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Extra info for And We're All Brothers: Singing in Yiddish in Contemporary North America
Here, beginning students, struggling to speak after only four days of Yiddish lessons, would have a first opportunity to sit alongside native Yiddish speakers and long-time Yiddish language devotees. Picnic aside, the evening’s activities focused on song. The group sang a crosssection of well-known Yiddish favourites. ‘Ale brider’ (All brothers), based on a poem written by Morris Winchevsky, illustrates the ideals of brotherhood and equality central to turn-of-the-century Jewish socialism. 1 On an upbeat note, the singing session ended with two RussianYiddish numbers: ‘A glezele lekhayim’ (A little toast), a Soviet Yiddish song whose melody derives from an early twentieth-century Yiddish theatre song, and ‘Geven a tzayt’ (Once there was a time) a 1970 translation by Yiddish singer Teddi Schwartz of Gene Raskin’s lyrics ‘Those were the days’, itself a contrafactum to another popular Russian song.
Many parodies were written in Boiberik, and were a source of fun. Some were written by Lehrer, others by talented campers and counselors. Many Boiberikaner will recall them. We sang them at campfires or on Kindertog (a day when counselors dressed and acted as children, and when Lehrer received a hazing). Some words were of a high calibre. I once heard a snippet of a parody of Oklahoma written by Uriel and Gaby Weinreich and Amik (Abe) Brumberg. These parodies should definitely form part of the Boiberik Songbook (Chana Mlotek, letter to ‘Sam’, February 1988.
However, from the outset the programme’s goals expanded beyond formal language acquisition to encompass a wider cultural agenda. 2001 programme director Yankl (Jeffrey) Salant writes: Priceless treasures that could immeasurably enrich the field of Jewish social science – and by the same token – the general domain of social science – remain 22 And We’re All Brothers: Singing in Yiddish in Contemporary North America to a large degree unutilised. For these treasures in the form of institutional records, minutes, books, epistolary collections, diaries, newspapers and journals are mostly in Yiddish, an adequate knowledge of which is uncommon among American researchers.
And We're All Brothers: Singing in Yiddish in Contemporary North America by Abigail Wood