Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Adler, Eliyana R. “No Raisins, No Almonds: Singing as Spiritual Resistance to the Holocaust.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 24 (2006): 50-66.

For several Yiddish-speaking Jews, music served as a vehicle for spiritual resistance during the Holocaust. Writers often composed new lyrics to pre-existing tunes from popular songs and folksongs, and the music chosen was often both easily identifiable and significant to the writer. Through adapting older, well known songs, the writers were able to express subtle messages and meanings to their listeners. Broadly speaking, songs could be adapted in three ways: reuse, rewriting, and response. Reusing older melodies allowed concentration camp inmates to create a song that reflected their reality while also observing their Jewish heritage. Rewriting, or adding new lyrics to existing tunes, drew on the listeners’ familiarity with both the original tune and the original words to create symbolic meanings. Finally, songs in the response category would make references to original song texts, but not the original tunes, creating a deliberate contrast between the new song and the source.

Works: Anonymous: Ani Ma’amin (55, 57); Anonymous: Zog Nitkeyn Mol (57); Anonymous: Tsen Brider (57-58); Rilke Glezer: Papirosn (62); Yankele Hershkowitz: Papirosn (62); Sh. Sheinkinder: Papirosn (63); Yankele Hershkowitz: Nishtu Keyn Przydziel (62-63); Shimshon Fersht: Unter di Grininke Beymelekh (64); David Beyglman: Nit kayn Rozhinkes, nit kayn Mandlen (64).

Sources: Abraham Goldfaden: Rozhinkes mit Mandlen (54, 60-61, 64); Ani Ma’amin (57); Mordecai Gebirtig: Es Brent (56, 57); Anonymous: Tsen Brider (57-58); Abraham Goldfaden: Shulamis (58-59); Herman Yablokoff: Papirosn (61-62); A. M. Bernstein: Tsum Hemerl (58-59).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Cynthia Dretel, Matthew G. Leone

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License