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Yiddish song mystifies, then wows judges on Ukrainian version of ‘The Voice’

A Forverts reader has informed us that two former Ukrainian pop stars, known as The Alibi Sisters, recently performed the Yiddish song “Chiribim-Chiribom” at the blind auditions on the Ukrainian version of “The Voice.”

In the video, the judges, presumably none of them Jewish, initially appear mystified by the act – some sporting a slightly mocking grin, and then, one by one, each begins swaying to the beat, hand wavering over the button, resulting in an astonishing four-chair turn.

The clip has already garnered more than 950,000 views.

The duet, whose real names are Anna and Angelina Zavalskia, note on their YouTube channel, that their grandmother used to sing them the Yiddish folk song, Vu iz dos gesele? [Where is my street?] – and that record albums of The Barry Sisters, the popular American Yiddish duo from the 1940s to the 1970s, were a staple in their home.

Listening to them sing “Chiribim-Chiribom” – a Barry Sisters classic – is like listening to the iconic duo reincarnated.

A message from Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, I wanted to ask you to support the Forverts' 127-year legacy — and its bright future.

In the past, the goal of the Forverts was to Americanize its readers, to encourage them to learn English well and to acculturate to American society. Today, our goal is the reverse: to acquaint readers — especially those with Eastern European roots — with their Jewish cultural heritage, through the Yiddish language, literature, recipes and songs.

Our daily Yiddish content brings you new and creative ways to engage with this vibrant, living language, including Yiddish Wordle, Word of the Day videos, Yiddish cooking demos, new music, poetry and so much more.

—  Rukhl Schaechter, Yiddish Editor

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