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)

About this project ♦ ♦ About Jane Peppler
List of the still-lost songs: do you know any of them?
Search the blog:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Reb Yidl, gib gelt! (Mr. Jew, give money!) - a song for exhorting the synagogue congregation to pay up.

UPDATE: Searching the Florida Atlantic University Yiddish music collection using just the term "Reb" (because all other words in this title could be spelled in other ways) I found a recording of the song, sung by G. Z. Weismann: Reb J├╝del gib Geld

The sheet music for this song (spelled "Reb Yudel gib gelt") came out in 1905 and as you see, the song was sung with great success by Rosa Klug at the Peoples' Music Hall. Music J. Davidoff, words A. Mesco [now I know he was Adam Mesco], arranged by Joseph Rumshinsky.

The National Library of Israel has a 78 of Pepi and Moritz Weinberg singing this song, but of course, you can't listen to it unless you fly to Jerusalem. 

When I first saw this text, I thought it was a sincere exhortation to pious Jews, saying that if you want the good things of Jewish culture and religion, you must pay what they're worth. But towards the end of the song the sarcasm becomes more evident, and frume yidn of my acquaintance assure me this is a tongue and cheek message: in the Jewish community nothing comes for free even if it should.

There are two slightly different verses on the sheet music.

Click below to hear the song as I recorded it today:

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

Labels: , ,


Blogger Unknown said...

a beautiful example of a yiddisher huzpe: do you have any photo of Adam Mesco? ;)

June 1, 2016 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger melinama said...

I didn't even know his name was Adam. Do YOU have a picture?

June 1, 2016 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger melinama said...

And now, thanks to you, I just found one of my lost songs! I just figured out that Adam Mesco wrote the original words to a song which appears in the penny song collection as a parody, Der Amerikaner Seder.

June 1, 2016 at 1:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home