Reposted because a reader of the blog found a recording of this song, by Aaron Lebedeff, at the Mayrent collection in Wisconsin. Have a listen: גוד־באַי, ניו יאָרק
Here's a 1-minute Instagram video. It's fun making short videos and the square size is entertaining! Here it is:
Click the album cover to listen to and/or buy our recording of this song, Good-bye New York
, from the In Odess
On page 130 of Pesach Burstein's autobiography Oh, What a Life
! he mentions this song as being sung in Warsaw, and it appears in one of the Itzik Zhelanek books along with "Zi Hot Es," another number from the same show. Zhelanek says the show was Gasn Zinger
but Burstein says it was from Radio Singer
On my trip to Harvard's Judaica collection I found orchestra parts for this song, but not a lead sheet. That was the case for a number of other songs; I wonder if this was because the singers were afraid their songs would be stolen so they committed them to memory and ate the lyrics pages. I reconstructed the tune from the fiddle part, so it might not be exactly right - I've never heard the song as it was sung. If you "click to order" you can buy the sheet music with translation etc for $2.50 (includes the mp3 of the song):
I think it's pretty obvious why this song became "lost" - the protagonist says he has had ill luck in New York and is going back to Eastern Europe. Nobody would have sung such a thing after the Holocaust. Nikolai Borodulin found, maybe, the town our protagonist was returning to - Berëzovka [Russia], Berezivka [Ukraine], Berezówka [Polish], Beresowka, Beresovka - in Ukraine, 223 miles south of Kiev.
As always, if you have information about this song let me know. I reconstructed the melody from a hand-written fiddle part for the score in Harvard's Widener Library Judaica Collection, it might not be quite right, I've never actually heard anybody sing the song.
Here's the transcription:
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Labels: battle between the sexes, emigration, nostalgia, songs for sale