Mark Olf: Yiddish Folk Songs for Children (CD)
Mark Olf (1905-1987) was a composer and singer of Yiddish and Hebrew songs. Olf emigrated to the U.S. from Russia when he was young; he later recorded some of the songs he had heard as a child, toured the country performing, and taught music at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, Queens College (CUNY), and the University of Rhode Island. On this recording-one of four he made for Folkways Records-he sings fanciful Yiddish songs for children. Some have known authors, including two songs with lyrics by Aliza Greenblatt, the mother-in-law of Woody Guthrie and grandmother of Arlo. Yiddish, which incorporates elements of German, Hebrew, and Slavic languages, was the primary secular language of the Jews in Eastern Europe. Liner notes provide English translations, English transliterations of the Yiddish, and the original Yiddish texts.
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