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

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3. Click here for our music videos of Yiddish songs with English subtitles (mainly post-1925)
4. List of the still lost songs. Do you know any of them?
5. Warszawa zumerkurs song links

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Oy mame bin ikh farlibt! Not rare, but often requested Yiddish theater song

Today I got yet another request for this song, one of the most popular songs in the Yiddish theater song repertoire. Oy, mame, bin ikh farlibt was written by Abe Ellstein for Joseph Green’s 1936 film Yidl mitn fidl. Joseph Green's films are priceless because they were shot in Poland just before the holocaust. A lot of the crowd scenes were shot with locals and passers-by.

The film Yidl mitn fidl is about a fiddler, Molly Picon, and her bass-playing dad, Ari, who take to the road as a traveling duo. Out of fear for her safety Molly calls herself Yidl and dresses as a man. On the road they meet another duo and they join forces. Yidl falls in love with young Froim. When he pats her cheek she's besotted and later sings this song. For the full plot watch the movie or read this fine summary of Oy Mame bin ikh farlibt by Neil Levin for the Milken Archive:


My band Mappamundi recorded this in 1994, before I had ever decided to study Yiddish. Bassist Robbie Link plays the solo.



Here is the sheet music if you want it, with transliteration, chords, translation etc:




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