the schmooze

"Mobile Entertainment" Name That Song

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

    It is impossible to ignore the importance of "muzik" in Jewish life.  Mandy Patinkin will be performing his acclaimed "Mamaloshen" (Mother Tongue) at Carnegie Hall on June 16.
   Patikin said, "...I began singing the song 'Youssel, Youssel,' and I found that it had a hook like a fishing hook
that grabbed your kishkes (innards) and threw you all over the room like a big Pike being pulled out of the ocean."  The concert will also feature the female klezmer band, "Mikveh."

    We can never forget Abraham Goldfaden, Sholem Aleichem, David Kovanovski, Theodore Bikel, Jan Peerce, Sammy  Cahn's "Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen," and, more recently, David Hyde Pierce ("Spamalot") singing "You Won't Succeed on Broadway If You Don't Have Any Jews."  Malka Lee writes about how the Jewish  passengers rose simultaneously and sang "Hativah," as they greeted the "golden land" with song.

I fondly recall the Finale from the Broadway show "Milk and Honey," starring Molly Picon (music and lyrics by Jerry Herman):

  Shalom, Shalom,
  You'll find Shalom
  The nicest greeting you know;
  It means bonjour, salud, and skoal
  and twice as much as hello....

    "People are hearing music ("muzik") in more spaces," explained Mike Pears, CEO of MusiKube, the Manhattan-based company behind SongLink'd.  SongLink'd is the latest iPod-era gimmick.  This "muzik" lover can now whip out her cell phone, dial 866-SONG-411, and in a few seconds get a text message with the name of the song, the artist, and a link
to a Web site where she  can buy the CD, download a ring tone of the music, and find other information...all for 99 cents a song.  (There is no cost if the service can't ID your song.)  Their database, according to Lindsay Singler, includes 2.5 "milyon" songs.

    So, I'm going to test SongLink'd by supplying a few lines from "akht" (8) Yiddish songs and see if they can identify the title of the song.  (The correct answers can be found at the end of the article.)

1.  A young man is deep in thought,  And he wonders whom he ought to take as wife for all of his life, To take as wife
     for all of his life,

2.  In the holy Temple, all alone in a corner, Sits the old widow, the Daughter of Zion.  And she rocks her young son,
    lying there in the cradle, And sings him to sleep with this sweet lullaby:
         'Neath the cradle of my young son Stands a goat, Yes, a pure white one.
         The little goat has been fated to wander,
         That will be your fate, too.

3.  My Mama had three little boys, Three little boys had she, With tender, rosy littlecheeks, All Smooth and satiny.
     The first was, he was called Berele,
     The second, Chayim Shmerele,
     The third one he just called for A brand-new pair of shoes.
     You really want to know who the third one can be?
     It really is not hard to guess That little boy is me.
4.  Rent is due, and oy, oy, oy,
     Rent is due, and boazhe moy
     (Russian for "My God!")
    Rent is due, and it's no joy,
    Rent is due; time to pay up.

5.  My heart with pain
     Does overflow again,
     When at Castle Garden
     I give a glance.
     Where folks of all stations
     from so many different nations
     Sit dreaming of better chance.

6.*O, my dearest Mama,
    You ask how I'm doing,
    You ask what I do here in
    this golden land,
    I cannot write, Mama dear,
    lies in my letter,
    So I'll write the truth with a
    trembling hand.

7.*Dearest Mama, dearest Mother,
    My dear heart, let me explain.
    Do you know
    Why I cry so bitter, and the depth of all my pain?
    I'd be all my riches giving,
    If I could see you a new.
    For you, I'd gladly give up living,
    If I could come back to you.

8. Streams of blood and rivers of tears,
    Hotly flowing deep and wide,
    For our old and terrible torment is once more at our side.
    Listen there to Mothers weeping, and to children's awful shouts, corpses lying on the sidewalks, 
   sick ones falling all about.

*According to Aaron Lansky ("Outwitting History"), thirty or forty titles concerned themselves with immigrant mothers:  "A Letter to Mama"; "A Mother's Heart," "A Mother Is the Best Friend"; "When There Is No Mother";
"Mamenyu, Buy Me That"; "Can a Mother Be Guilty?"; "A Mother's Nakhes"; and "A Mother's Tears."

1.  "Tum Balalaika"
2.  "Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen" (Raisins and Almonds)
3.  "Dray Yingelech
4.  "Dire Gelt"
5.  "Kesl Gardn"
6.  "Dem Pedlers Brivl"  (The Peddler's Letter)
7.  "A Briv Fun Amerika"
8.  "Hot Rachmones" (Have Compassion)


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N O P Q R S T U V W   Y Z
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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