And We're All Brothers: Singing in Yiddish in Contemporary - download pdf or read online

By Abigail Wood

The sunrise of the twenty-first century marked a turning interval for American Yiddish tradition. The 'Old international' of Yiddish-speaking japanese Europe was once fading from dwelling reminiscence - but whilst, Yiddish tune loved a renaissance of inventive curiosity, either between a more youthful new release looking reengagement with the Yiddish language, and, such a lot prominently through the transnational revival of klezmer track. The final zone of the 20th century and the early years of the twenty-first observed a gentle flow of latest songbook courses and recordings in Yiddish - newly composed songs, recognized singers appearing 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 ebook explores how Yiddish music turned any such effective medium for musical and ideological creativity on the twilight of the 20th century, featuring an episode within the flowing timeline of a musical repertory - manhattan on the sunrise of the twenty-first century - and outlining many of the trajectories that Yiddish tune and its singers have taken to, and past, this aspect.

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Example text

Solo songs were also included in the programme. Under the heading ‘Voices of a Family’, Noah Yucht (mandolin), his son Philip (guitar) and his granddaughter Tovah (voice) performed two Yiddish songs: ‘Makh tsu di eygelekh’ (Close your eyes) and ‘Shtil di nakht’ (The night is quiet). Later Adrienne Cooper, accompanied by Margot Leverett and Zalmen Mlotek, sang ‘Mayn shvester Khaye’ (My sister Khaye). Like ‘Unter di khurves fun Polyn’, the text of this song was written after the Holocaust, by poet Binem Heller.

The third sets a poem written after the Holocaust by Yiddish poet Itzik Manger, in which the protagonist mourns a blondhaired girl, buried under the ruins of Poland. Solo songs were also included in the programme. Under the heading ‘Voices of a Family’, Noah Yucht (mandolin), his son Philip (guitar) and his granddaughter Tovah (voice) performed two Yiddish songs: ‘Makh tsu di eygelekh’ (Close your eyes) and ‘Shtil di nakht’ (The night is quiet). Later Adrienne Cooper, accompanied by Margot Leverett and Zalmen Mlotek, sang ‘Mayn shvester Khaye’ (My sister Khaye).

This snapshot neatly introduces the roles played by song among those seeking to acquire a fluent command of Yiddish in New York today. The majority of those who identify with Yiddish language and culture are not specialist musicians, and most contexts for song are combined with other activities: the theatre, social events, education or commemoration. Song is constitutive of community: an enjoyable, sociable activity, and is a structural element that can be used and reused in creating contexts for the performance of language.

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