Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
Index of songs on this site
Link to comprehensive index and research notes
Youtube: all the Penny Songs I've recorded so far (with subtitles)

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List of the still-lost songs: do you know any of them?
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Di zi! Everything would be great if it weren't for "the she." Sung to the tune of Sweet Marie

So here is another misogynistic lyric, this one created by Louis Kopelman (left) to the tune of "Sweet Marie."

I see in the book Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish that Kopelman was one of several coupletists hired by the Katzenelebogen company to make Yiddish versions of Tin Pan Alley songs around the turn of the 20th century. The others cited (Louis Gilrod, Isaac Reingold, Solomon Small/Shlomo Shmulevitz, and David Meyerowitz are also all represented in the Penny Song collection. Kopelman died of consumption in 1901.

Here's the video I made today. I got a cheap green screen and tried to drop out the background because I'm tired of showing how messy my studio is. However, I didn't get it quite right. Maybe next time. Thanks to Roger Lynn Spears for his great piano playing.

You can listen to the 1893 recording of Ada Jones singing Sweet Marie on Youtube. According to the notes there,
Ada Jones (1873-1922) was the leading female recording artist in the acoustic recording era, especially popular from 1905 to 1912 or so. Always working as a freelance artist, she recorded for most American companies. Her singing range was limited but she was remarkably versatile, able to perform vaudeville sketches, sentimental ballads, popular duets, hits from Broadway shows, British music hall material, ragtime songs, and Irish comic songs. She was known for an ability to mimic dialects... the song been introduced in the show A Knotty Affair, which opened in New York in May 1891. Jones performed in A Knotty Affair in December 1893, but the song was sung on stage by its composer, Raymon Moore.

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