(page 2 of 3)
The poem continues, mocking the Communists’ changed strategy of backing Roosevelt’s New Deal and adopting the language of American patriotism:
Ot itzt, ven tsulib dem fareyniktn front
farzorgt men fun tsenter: altz “dant” un altz “dant,”
hot emetsn grad zikh on Sereh’n dermant.
Now that it’s all the vogue to declare a
Popular Front and the center is where a
left-winger should be, they’re remembering Sereh.
Men fokht dokh shoyn lang mit di farfl un lokshn,
un nit mit der fon der royt-proletarisher;
men shteyt far di makht-hober pod-kozirak shoyn,
un mit a farentferung mit aza narisher;
vayl vi men zol dreydlen un pshetlen derbay —
men vert dokh shoyn fort a regirungs-partay.
The farfl un lokshn now waves jauntily
instead of the red proletarian banner,
and one stands and salutes the powers that be
while explaining it all in an upside-down manner;
yet however it’s twisted and turned by some smarty,
one now is a part of the ruling party.
It’s easy to see why “farfl and lokshn” should have become a jocular Yiddish term for the American flag. Lokshn are noodles, the most common kind of which used in the Jewish kitchen are long, stripe-shaped ones resembling fettuccine or tagliatelle. Farfel is pasta, too, but small and round; often called egg barley, it has the shape of a bead or pellet — or, if you wish, of a star. Farfl un lokshn would have been, in pre-Popular Front days, a fine way of making fun of Old Glory.