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

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Iz geven a mol a pastukhl (There once was a shepherd) - Yiddish folk song as sung by Mordechai Hershman

vilna cantor mordecai herschmanThis odd, mystical little song was often recorded, generally by cantors, and it is also available in quite a few songbooks. Though supposedly a folk song, it's been endlessly reworked and arranged for pianos and orchestras. Look for it also as A pastekhel and Dos pastuchel.

Professor Lawrence Feinberg helped with the Ukrainian. What's happening here? It's not entirely clear but I'm sure it is allegorical. If anybody would like to opine upon it, please email me.

Mordecai Hershman, as I've said before, has been very important to my project of collecting tunes for the songs Itzik Zhelonek deemed the most famous and wonderful of the mid-1930s. Not only because he was the original singer of some of the songs, but because he recorded a great many of Zhelonek's favorites and the recordings have survived. This one, A Pastukhl, is an example. I've put his version on Youtube with English translation (see below) and you can get the sheet music too:

Look below the jump for the Hershman video...





Enjoy!





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