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Youtube videos of Yiddish tenement songs subtitled in English

I was given a collection of 200 digitized Yiddish songsheets from Hebrew Union College. These broadsides were sold sold by peddlers on the streets of the Lower East Side around the turn of the 20th century. I'm hunting up the melodies and recording the songs (or putting up the original historic recordings with subtitles).

The lyrics were mostly written to pre-existing tunes, well-known Yiddish songs of the time or American pop songs (you may have heard barbershop quartets sing them).

Newly arrived Jewish immigrants were anxious to become "regular Americans," they adopted American popular culture before they'd even learned English. These songs are full of "Yinglish" and, set to melodies like "She is More to be Pitied than Censured," they often don't sound Jewish. I'm enjoying this obscure corner of New York Judaica and hope you do too.

Click the book's picture to learn more about the book and order it if you like...

Also see our collection of post-1920 Yiddish music videos with English subtitles.

If you don't see rows of pictures below then my javascript is broken for you - so please visit the Yiddish Penny Songs playlist on Youtube. Thanks.

American Yiddish Penny Songs with English translations of the lyrics


    You can find mp3s and sheet music for Yiddish songs of the 1920s and 1930s by clicking here: Yiddish theater songs sheet music

    Email jane@mappamundi.com if you want sheet music or mp3s of the songs on THIS page. Thanks.

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