The Schmooze

Lorde's 'Team' Gets a Yiddish Cover

Do you wish pop star Lorde would lay down a track in Yiddish already? Well, the next best thing just happened.

The Technicalities, an Israeli husband-and-wife Yiddish music duo in their early 30s, recently recorded this cover of Lorde’s hit song “Team.” Shira Z. Carmel — who also sings in the popular Israeli doo-wop band The Hazelnuts — croons in the mamaloshen with her husband Alon Diament on accordion.

The Yiddish cover is a part of an ambitious multilingual Holy Land tribute to Lorde, including covers in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and French.

Saul Noam Zaritt, editor of a new Yiddish Studies journal and soon-to-be Harvard Yiddish prof, translated the lyrics along with Yael Levi to include some clever winks. Where the chorus begins “We live in cities,” you’ll hear “shtetlach.”

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And his translation of the line “living in ruins of the palace within my dreams” includes a reference to the Polish shtetl Kuzmir, where an old Jewish legend says a Polish king built a palace for his Jewish princess.

For musician and author Yuval Ben-Ami, who spearheaded the tribute project, the “ruins of the palace” is Yiddish itself: the dying language of a palatial culture. Singing Lorde in Yiddish, Ben-Ami says, is “doing it an honor that honors us.”

Listen to the cover here, and try to follow along with the English lyrics. (Or the Yiddish!)

(Daniel Estrin is a print and radio journalist. Follow him on Twitter at @danielestrin.)

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Lorde's 'Team' Gets a Yiddish Cover

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