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Coolest new website of the week: Yiddish Song of the Week

Rachael Kafrissen
March 10, 2010

The Yiddish Song of the Week is a project of the An-Sky Folklore Research Project. The An-Sky Institute is a project of the fabulous Center for Traditional Music and Dance. Sh. An-Sky was a Russian Jewish ethnographer, playwright, kultur arbeter and key figure in modern Yiddish culture.
Itzik Gottesman is the director of the An-Sky Folklore Research Project. Here’s the mission of the Yiddish Song of the Week:

This initiative is part of a larger effort by the AJFRP to revitalize traditional Yiddish folksinging performance and research on the subject. To that end, this website will emphasize field recordings of traditional Yiddish folksingers from around the world contributed by folklorists, ethnomusicologists, musicians, singers and collectors.
Each Yiddish song will be presented with Yiddish words and translation, along with commentary from the contributor. Since the website is a blog, we hope that each song contribution will elicit comments from others on the song itself, or on the singing style of the singer. Perhaps others will contribute a variant of the song from their recordings, etc.

How cool is that? The first two songs featured are performances by Itzik’s grandmother, Lifshe Schaechter-Widman. The audio player is right there on the web page. You can read the fascinating story of the songs and listen at the same time. Check it out!