The Ruth Rubin Legacy
Archive of Yiddish Folksongs

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Oy, hert zikh ayn, mayne libe mentshn


Oy, hert zikh ayn, mayne libe mentshn




[Note in typewritten tape log in box:] Betler lid. [No record for Tape 21 or Tape 22 in typewritten black hardbound catalog.]

"Ethnomusicologist Ruth Rubin collected and translated this street singer’s tune in 1955 from Yankl Zipper, who had immigrated to Montreal and remembered it in Lithuanian Yiddish dialect from pre-WWII Europe. As noted by collection editors Chana Mlotek & Mark Slobin, a very similar supplicant melody is a central motif in the widely famous 1936 film Yidl mitn fidl [Yidl with the Fiddle], starring American-born Yiddish actress Molly Picon and made on location in Poland. It seems quite likely that the mendicant movie theme inspired a real-life busker’s song." (From Eve Sicular)


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“Oy, hert zikh ayn, mayne libe mentshn,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed April 22, 2024,
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