Help identifying Jewish/Yiddish Music
August 19, 2017 10:58 AM   Subscribe

I've written before about how I provide some metadata for the Internet Archive's aircheck recordings. I'm hoping someone can either identify the following songs/artists or can suggest how I might research them.

All of the items are in this series of recordings.

I've done a lot of searching and have identified all but the following. I'm happy to go research elsewhere if someone can provide those tips, too.

[1:10:23] Unannounced artist/song

[0:16:17] Title and Artist edited out
[0:20:19] Title and Artist edited out
[0:34:14] Unannounced Title from album "Hebrew Holidays in Song"
[0:37:02] Unannounced artist/song

[0:06:45] ???
[0:09:54] ???
[0:18:20] "Anniversary Waltz"
[0:24:20] Theodore Bikel (possible words: "fiddle" "cymbal")
posted by tcv to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can help with two easy ones:

(2)[0:16:17] Title and Artist edited out - This is an instrumental version of "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena". It sounds like this London Festival Orchestra version, though I didn't spend a ton of time comparing them carefully.

(3)[0:06:45] Title is "Hine Ma Tov", no clue on the artist
posted by zachlipton at 11:28 AM on August 19, 2017

(1) [1:10:23] is Papirosn
(2) [0:20:19] is really familiar, I know I've heard an English version; the refrain is "Oy gevalt, a gonif", and it's about all the things that have been stolen and how worthless they are anyway (four candlesticks, three bent and one broken, etc)
(3) [0:24:20] is Rebbe Elimelech.

The Jewish Music mailing list is the best resources I know of for finding knowledgable people who can give more details.
posted by nonane at 3:26 PM on August 19, 2017


Thanks so much. I can't say for certain that "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena" is the London Orchestra version, but I believe so. Many versions of the song have lyrics in it and the one in the program and the one in the YT link you provided do not. They sound very much the same.

Re: I don't know the artist either. I'll continue to look, though. :-) Thanks for the name.



RE: Papirosn, I am nearly certain that's Yafa Yarkoni and I'm going to mark this as likely since the recordings feature many cuts from her Rumania, Rumania LP which was contemporary at the time.

Yeah, the Oy gevalt, a gonif one is neat. I wish I knew what it was. I'll keep trying.

THANK YOU for Rebe Elimelech. That one was driving me nuts. I had all these Theodore Bikel songs and I just hadn't hit the right one out of the 50 or so I sampled. It has a distinct beginning but he was very prolific. :-)

I'll try the list, too! :-)
posted by tcv at 4:47 PM on August 19, 2017

Maybe "Bay mayn rebbe is geveyn a ganevye", which seems to have a variety of transliterations and a bunch of versions with a tune more like Ale Brider.
posted by nonane at 5:55 PM on August 19, 2017

Just getting started listening, but 2 [0:34:14] Unannounced Title from album "Hebrew Holidays in Song" just made me laugh out loud because it's a Sabbath-day hymn that has been in my husband's family for I don't know how many generations and we laugh at him for insisting on singing it because it's such a dirge. It's the last paragraph of Tsur Mishelo , beginning "Yibaneh Ha-mikdash". No idea who the chorus / singer is, though.
posted by Mchelly at 7:09 PM on August 19, 2017


I've found that album, at least one version of it, and have been able to listen to all of the tracks on YouTube but none of them fit in the slightest.
posted by tcv at 7:14 PM on August 19, 2017

It's a medieval tune, so I couldn't begin to guess the artist or album other than the name you listed (sorry!)

But meanwhile, this just in from my husband:
2) 37:02 - is the Yiddish-language version of "Western People Funny" from The King & I. No idea who the artist is, but maybe that's a start?
posted by Mchelly at 7:36 PM on August 19, 2017

Another from my husband:
Hayim Hefer wrote 3- 9:54. It's called Baderech L'Elat (On the Road to Eilat) , or Hey Daroma (Hey! Southward).
posted by Mchelly at 7:46 PM on August 19, 2017

FWIW, Tsur Mishelo is a hymn that has a ton of different traditional tunes set to it (mostly cheerful). My husband's family is Lithuanian, so it's possible that's the source of that particular melody?
posted by Mchelly at 7:50 PM on August 19, 2017


Thanks for Baderech L'Elat (On the Road to Eilat)...

... OOH! I found it!

posted by tcv at 8:16 AM on August 20, 2017


Here's an update. Items with prepended * are still in research.

[1:10:23] "Papirosn," Yafa Yarkoni (thanks to mefi's nonane & klezcorner on Jewish Music mailing list)

[0:16:17] "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," (likely) London Symphony Orchestra (thanks to MeFi's zachlipton)[frequent audio fade]
[0:20:19] "A Genayve," by Martha Schlamme (thanks the Klezcorner on Jewish Music mailing list)
*[0:34:14] Perhaps "Tsur Mishelo" from album "Hebrew Holidays in Song"
[0:37:02] "Western People Funny," from The King And I, in Yiddish (thanks to mefi's Mchelly)

[0:06:45] "Hine Ma Tov," UNKNOWN ARTIST (thanks to MeFi's zachlipton)
[0:09:54] "Baderech L'Elat (On the Road to Elath)," Oranim Zabar Israeli Troupe (thanks to MeFi's Mchelly)
*[0:18:20] "Anniversary Waltz"
[0:24:20] "Der Rebe Elimelech," Theodore Bikel (thanks to MeFi's nonane)
posted by tcv at 8:34 AM on August 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

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