Polish Jewish Cabaret: a library of wonderful but forgotten Yiddish songs of the 1920s - 1930s. Have a listen!

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mayn vayb kumt fun Zakopane (Yoshke fort avek)

UPDATE: Re-posted to add an Instagram 1-minute video of the song:


Or visit Mayn vayb kumt fun Zakopane on the Lebedik Yankel cd to hear the whole thing and maybe even buy it for eighty cents.

Here we have a misogynistic song about a guy who's miserable that his wife is coming back from her vacation in Zakopane, a resort in southern Poland.

Zhelonek tells us "sing to the tune of Yoshke fort avek." He printed four parodic verses and a roman numeral V for a fifth verse, but there was no fifth verse.

There are actually quite a few versions of the Yoshke folksong about a man going off to the army (priziv) and leaving his sweetheart behind. There are dozens of verses, too. I chose a few Yoshke verses to add to this recording and I used two of the tunes because they are both so lovely I couldn't choose between them.



Ruth Rubin wrote:


This song originated in Vilna, Lithuania, and is about an underworld character, "Yoshke," who preyed upon the small merchants in the Jewish quarter there. When the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904 and he was drafted, this satirical-humorous song describing an imaginary conversation between Yoshke and his lady-love became popular. With the passage of time, however, folks began to interpret this song differently, with emphasis on the poignancy of separation in wartime.

http://www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/
Friends of Moshe Granica accompany him as he was recruited to serve in the Czar's army. He is about to leave town to present himself for duty "somewhere in Russia."

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