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Re: Songs about food in Jiddisch

In the spirit of recent _zelbstreklame_ on the list, I would mention the
following publication:

     Robert A. Rothstein and Halina Rothstein, "Food in Yiddish and
Slavic Folk Culture: a Comparative/Contrastive View,"
     in _Yiddish Language and Culture Then and Now_, ed. Leonard Jay
Greenspoon (Omaha: Creighton University Press,
     1998), pp. 305-28.

The paper mentions, among other things, two songs sung by Aaron
Lebedeff.  One is his parody of a folk song about a cantor coming to
lead sabbath services in a small town ("A khazn oyf shabes"). In the
original version three local citizens (a tailor, a
blacksmith, and a coachman) comment on his singing; each uses images
from his own profession.  In Lebedeff's parody ("A
khazndl in Amerike") the commentators are three restaurateurs: "a
litvak," "a galitsianer" and "an amerikanerl."  In addition to the
linguistic differences (e.g., "oy vey" for the Litvak vs. "ay vay" for
the Galitsianer and "my God, gee whiz, holy Moses" for the American),
Lebedeff makes use of food preferences, e.g., black bread with radishes
and herring with potatoes for the Litvak, barley soup with a marrow bone
for the Galitsianer, and for the American--ham and eggs and chop suey
with chow mein.

The second is "Rumenye," in which reminiscences of Romania are presented
almost exclusively in terms of food (and wine):
"a mameligele," "a pastramele," "a karnatsele," "kashtaval" and

Also mentioned is a popular song by Adolf King, "Oy, iz dos a rebetsn"
(also known as "Sha, sha, der rebe geyt") in which the rabbi's wife is
compared to "a purim-koyletsh," "a lokshn-kigele" and "a milkhedike

        Bob Rothstein

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