NYFS logo    tagline
 Pinto Guira making guiramaking a mandalaplaying mandolin
 


New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. II, No. 1, February 1946

View the Table of Contents here. Back issues of New York Folklore Quarterly (1945–1974) and single articles are available for purchase.
JOIN the New York Folklore Society today to receive Voices.


Cover of NY Folklore Quarterly

Support the New York Folklore Society

NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. II, No. 1, February, 1946

YIDDISH FOLKSONGS IN NEW YORK CITY
Ruth Rubin

DURING the eighties and nineties of the past century, tens of thousands of Jews from eastern European countries poured into New York harbor annually. Many were fleeing Czarist tyranny and oppression, pogroms, economic segregation, persecutions, and ghetto life of the Pale. They took to the new life in America with passion and serious intent. Along with their baggage and wicker trunks filled with bedding, clothing, an occasional samovar, the Sabbath candlesticks, the prayer books, prayer cloths, and philacteries, they brought their tales and anecdotes, their superstitions, folksay, and folksong — religious and secular, Hebrew and Yiddish, Chassidic and anti-Chassidic, national and universal.

A great portion of this folk treasure is still alive in our great city of New York and can be heard in the synagogues, in the parochial and secular schools, in the summer camps, in the homes, in the cultural clubs, and in the literary societies. Especially are the songs current among the Jewish factory workers, who, since the birth of Yiddish secular folksong, have been its main carriers, composers, and preservers. In comparing the folksongs current here, among the Yiddish-speaking American Jews, with the folksongs sung by the Jews living in the Soviet Union, we find that both still weave the same pattern, which can be traced back to the birth and flowering of Yiddish folksong in the nineteenth century.

The folksong of the eastern European Jews (Yiddish folksong) is the youngest product of Jewish music, tracing its path over a period of centuries and embracing Jewish life in many lands. Social-economic pressures at various periods in world history resulted in the severance of this long line at certain points, as, for instance, at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition. Each catastrophe compelled the Jewish people to shift its base of concentrated settlement and to root and create again in a new environment....


Voices is the membership magazine of the New York Folklore Society. To become a subscriber, join the New York Folklore Society today.


TO PURCHASE A BACK ISSUE of the New York Folklore Quarterly, visit our online book store.


TO PURCHASE THIS ARTICLE from the New York Folklore Quarterly, use the form here.



Right Arrow Image    BACK TO THE NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY.

 



New York Folklore Quarterly
PURCHASE A SINGLE ARTICLE

To order a single article, please enter volume number, issue number, and title of the article you wish and click on an order button below to purchase through Paypal or with your credit card. We will send you a PDF of the article via e-mail upon receipt of your order.

ITEM #603
Single Article $3.00




Volume No. & Issue



Title







Member Price  $2.00



Volume No. & Issue



Title










NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY ♦ 129 Jay Street ♦ Schenectady, NY 12305 ♦ 518.346.7008 ♦ Fax 518.346.6617 ♦ nyfs@nyfolklore.org