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

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Masquerade balls - featured for decades.

There are two Zhelonek songs about masked balls. In each case, a spouse is carousing with a supposed stranger who turns out to be - the spouse. Not a very interesting conceit. But the songs are fun nevertheless. One is A Mistake! and the other is Af a maskn bal.

At the time I thought this was an idea that arose in the swinging 1920s, but today I found a song from about 1911 with exactly the same plot. It is in Judah Katzenelenbogen's Lider magazin (a sporadically issued compendium of Yiddish theater songs famous at the time and, more importantly, Yiddish lyrics set to famous American songs of the times, as we saw here with In a hoyz vu men veynt un men lakht, set to In the Shade of an Old Apple Tree).

It's called Mall Oy Mally! and it's set to the tune of Molly, O! Oh, Molly! written in 1911 by Irving Berlin. Thanks to Fred Feild, the Sheet Music Singer, for finding this music for me. Here is the Yiddish songsheet. If you want more information get in touch with me. Click for a larger view.

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