Yiddish Song of the Week: ‘Afn beys-oylem’

Over at the An-sky Jewish Folkore Research Project, Forverts managing editor Itzik Gottesman, along with a few other contributors, has been poking through the nooks and crannies of Yiddish music and poetry on the Yiddish Song of the Week blog.

As quickly becomes clear from reading the blog, these aren’t your regular Yiddish standards. Rather, the featured melodies are generally lesser-known pieces, usually in the form of rare field recordings.

This week, Gottesman writes about “Afn beys-oylem,” (“On the Cemetery”) as sung by his grandmother, Lifshe Schaechter-Widman. The song is a version of Mikhl Gordon‘s “Di shtifmuter” (“The Stepmother”), but is an unusual example of his work. As Gottesman writes:

So a bit of a downer, maybe, but a beautiful, moving experience.

Listen to the song and read Gottesman’s whole analysis here.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Yiddish Song of the Week: ‘Afn beys-oylem’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!