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

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Friday, November 21, 2014

A badkhn-lid (Jewish wedding song of long ago)

I learned this song from Sheva Zucker and did this live living room version about five years ago. I could certainly do better now but am too lazy to do it over again.

Back in the old days, the crying at weddings was not just from joy. Marriage wasn't easy, especially for the new wife. The wedding entertainer or Master of Ceremonies, the badkhn, was tasked with reminding the assembled multitude that with life as well as with dinner, it's often not very good and the portions are always too small.








English translation of the Yiddish after the jump:


Bridegroom and bride, in-laws and friends, hear what the badkhn has to preach today. Today in this day of good fortune and happiness, the fiddle rings and the flute sobs.

Here sits the bride, beautiful as the day, but what is the fiddle saying? Tell us, fiddle...

"Beauty is lovely, but it fades away," that's what the fiddle says, but how about the flute?

"Life is a shadow, good fortune is a shadow, beauty fades and doesn't come back." That's what the badkhn says with tears in his gaze.

Here sits the bridegroom, silk and velvet, and the bride shines in her wedding dress. In-laws and guests, honored people, but over all of them, the fiddle rings and the flute sobs...

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