Mordechai Gebirtig: His Poetic and Musical Legacy

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Mordechai Gebirtig was one of the most influential and popular writers of Yiddish songs and poems. Born in 1877, he became a prolific poet and song writer, using everything he saw, heard and knew about people. His legacy, therefore, is not only one of melodies and lyrics, but also a treatise on Jewish life in Poland under the benign neglect of the Austrians, the ever growing hostility of the Poles, and finally, the terror of the Germans, who destroyed the people, their culture, and, to a great measure, their memory. Schneider's book for the first time brings his work to an English-speaking audience, offering a collection of all of his major works, complete with the scores, transliterated Yiddish text, and English translation. Her book offers a rare insight into the world of Eastern European Jews, their culture, and their music.

Gebirtig's most famous song Es Brent—It's Burning—was written in response to a 1936 pogrom. It became a stirring hymn for the survivors of the Holocaust, who felt that the words suited their own situation very well. Gebirtig himself was shot in the Cracow Ghetto in June 1942. Neither he nor any of his close family survived the war. However, as this volume shows, his songs and poems remain an enduring voice for a Jewish community nearly lost to the Nazis. They constitute a precious legacy for anyone interested in the world of Eastern Europe Jews, their culture, and their music.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275966577
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 222
  • Lexile: 1250L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

GERTRUDE SCHNEIDER is the President of the Ph.D. Alumni Association at the City University of New York's Graduate School.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1
Hannah 8
The Wounded Soldier 10
The Crow 12
Four Soldiers 14
The Life of Mordechai Gebirtig 17
A Song, Precious as Gold 40
An Angel Is Born 42
Avremel, the Opportunist 44
Abraham and Joseph 46
To Be a Maid for the Wealthy 48
Hannah and Nachum 50
I Don't Want Such a Bridegroom 52
The Singer of Woe 54
The Fallen Woman 56
The Doll 58
The Mama 60
The Night Floats Down 64
The Sun Went Down 66
The Old Couple 68
The Song of the Golden Land 70
Three Daughters 72
Endekowna 74
It Burns 76
The Outery 78
Hershale 82
Hey, Musicians 86
Hey, Little Gypsy 88
Hey, Little Goats 92
Have Pity 94
Rejoice, Rejoice, Children 96
Your Kitten Is Hungry 98
Potato Soup with Mushrooms 100
Sweep, Little Broom, Sweep 102
Childhood Years 104
Kivele 106
Little Orphan 108
Come, Leybke, Dance 110
My Home 112
My Father, a Cohen 114
My Jubilee 116
Moments of Confidence 118
Motele 120
Moyshele 122
Moses, My Friend 124
Another Glass of Tea 126
Oh, Brother, To Life 128
Oh, Mother of Mine 130
Oh, My Friend 132
Reisele 134
It's Good 136
Tick Tack 138
Our Daughter Chaya 140
Who Will Be the First to Laugh 142
Little Jack 144
A Hot Tear 148
Send a Flood 149
A Ray of Sunshine 150
A ToA Day of Revenge 151
Baylke 152
Farewell, My Cracow 153
The General Strike 154
The Firt Leaves 157
The First Seder Night 158
The Seduced One 160
The Fortune Teller 162
The Soul 164
The Last Word 165
Eve of Yom Kippur 166
The Night Will Soon Be Here 168
I Had a Home 169
Enough of Crying 171
Tolling Bells 172
Make Merry, Black Marketeers 173
It's Been So Long 174
In the Ghetto 176
My Dream 178
My Little Flute 180
My Heart Is a Prophet 182
My Heart Is Full of Fear 183
Making Her Acquaintance 184
Shifrele's Portrait 185
It Hurts 186
On Your Birthday 189
To My Beloved 190
To Sliches 192
Two Worlds 193
Our Spring 194
Vacation 195
Lullaby 196
Transliteration Guide 199
Epilogue 201
List of Contributors to the Publication of the Gebirtig Project 203
Bibliography 205
Index 207
About Those Who Worked on the Book 209
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