"their intimate, closely guarded songs from home, camp and ghetto"
May 17, 2015 4:47 AM   Subscribe

The Stonehill Jewish Song Collection is a website by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance containing songs sung by Jewish refugees in Hotel Marseilles in New York in 1948. All songs include the original lyrics and translations into English. Not all the songs have been digitized and translated already, but there is a variety of themes already, with more on the way soon. The songs were collected and recorded by Ben Stonehill who went to the refugees and asked them to sing anything they like.
posted by Kattullus (5 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
This is really neat!
posted by ocherdraco at 7:13 AM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is amazing and wonderful and sad, but I'm bummed she didn't bring any of the bawdy songs and they don't appear in any of the category listings that I can tell.

The Schadenfreude riddle love song is fantastic, if you can kind of look past the circumstances that brought it into being.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:56 AM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is fascinating.

You wouldn't expect it from the title, but #36, "Simkhes toyre bay dem tish, iz dos ales freylekh" seems to qualify as baudy.

Also, you may recognize #66, "Azoy vi s'iz gekimen der ershter May" as another form of "hu-tza-tza." (Previously.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:58 AM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is fantastikc, but the translations are mediocre and things like #66 would benefit from a bit of background: the singer is evidently a member of an anti-Bundist political group that was delighted to see their enemies ("beheimos" should be "animals", not "cattle") rounded up. But what's the thing transcribed as EPS? And what faction did the singer come from?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:19 PM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is true. The first translation issue that jumped out at me was #22's translation of "shviger" as "father-in-law" rather than "mother-in-law," and the rest is, as you say, mediocre.

That said, I'm willing to cut them some slack considering that there are upwards of a thousand songs still not online at all, and ya gotta start somewhere. Just getting these up there seems a good first step; I hope it leads to them finding out and filling in more of that information and fixing what needs to be fixed.
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:37 PM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

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