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

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Yiddish theater (and other) songs, new cd: Ikh bin busy

The strange name of this cd comes from one of my favorite Yiddish theater songs ever, written by Nellie Casman: Mr Malekh haMoves ikh bin busy! (Mr Angel of Death, I'm busy) in which she, a young and rising star, gets so sick she DOESN'T GO TO WORK (ie she is sick unto death because nothing kept those troupers from the stage) and subsequently tries to convince the Angel of Death she simply has too much to do to die. It's the title track of this cd, Ikh bin busy.

Only $7 and comes with a 19-page pdf file of the complete Yiddish lyrics in transliteration and my translations.

I also put two songs on this cd that I wrote as entries to the 2015 International Yidisher Idol competition in Mexico City. I won first prize with Ikh ken shoyn nit mithaltn, I was Grand Champion that year!

Click on the picture to visit the cd and have a listen.


1. Mr Malekh haMoves ikh bin busy (Mr Angel of Death, I'm Busy) 04:58
2. Tsores iz keyn dayge nit (Trouble's Nothing to Worry About) 02:43
3. S'vet zikh shoyn oyspresn (It'll Iron Itself Out) 03:20
4. Ikh bin arayngegangen un zikh oysgedreyt (I Went In And Turned Right Around and Left) 03:02
5. Gotenyu, gib a drey dos redele (God, Turn the Wheel of Fortune) 02:33
6. Dem milshteyns faygn (The Millstone's Figs) 03:21
7. Yeder eyner straykt atsind (Everyone's On Strike Now) 02:55
8. Kompani (Company) 02:06
9. Men vet dir keyn sakh nit mitgebn in keyver arayn (You Can't Take Anything With You Into the Grave) 03:48
10. Az du kenst nit un veyst nit nemt men zikh nit unter (If You Don't Know How, Don't Try It) 02:53
11. Aza mazl afn Keyser (The Czar Should Have Such Luck) 03:50
12. Dos pastukhl (The Shepherd) from Bar Kokhba 04:17
13. Ikh ken shoyn nit mithaltn (I Can't Keep Up) 03:43

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

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