Sie sind auf Seite 1von 33

JEWISH CABARET IN EXILE CONTENTS V – Traumas of Inner Exile

Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944), Three Yiddish Songs (Březulinka), op. 53 (1944)


I – The Great Ennui on the Eve of Exile
bs Berjoskele / The Little Birch (4:18)
Edmund Nick (1891–1973) & Erich Kästner (1899–1974):
bt Margaritkele / Little Margaret (1:37)
Die möblierte Moral (The Well-Furnished Morals)
ck Ich bin a Maydl in di Yorn / I’m Already a Young Woman (1:30)
1 Die möblierte Moral / The Well-Furnished Morals (1:48)
2 Das Wiegenlied väterlicherseite / The Father’s Lullaby (4:49) VI – Nostalgia and Exile
3 Die Elegie in Sachen Wald / Elegy in the Forest of Things (3:29)
cl Georg Kreisler (b. 1922): Tauben vergiften / Poisoning Pigeons (2:46)
4 Der Gesang vom verlorenen Sohn / The Song of the Lost Son (5:13)
cm Hermann Leopoldi (1888–1959) and Robert Katscher (1894–1942):
5 Das Chanson für Hochwohlgeborene / The Chanson for Those Who Are Born Better (2:43)
Ich bin ein unverbesserlicher Optimist / I’m an Irrepressible Optimist (3:46)
6 Der Song “man müßte wieder . . .”/ The Song “Once Again One Must . . .” (3:59)
cn Misha Spoliansky (1898–1985) / Marcellus Schiffer (1892–1932):
Heute Nacht oder nie / Tonight or Never (3:22)
II – The Exiled Language — Yiddish Songs for Stage and Screen
7 Moses Milner (1886–1953): In Cheider / In the Cheder (5:46) VII – Exile in Reprise
8 Mordechai Gebirtig (1877–1942): Avreml, der Marvikher / Abe, the Pickpocket (5:12) Friedrich Holländer on Stage and Film
9 Abraham Ellstein (1907–1963): Tif vi di Nacht / Deep as the Night (3:07)
co Friedrich Holländer (1896–1976): Marianka (2:32)
cp Wenn der Mond, wenn der Mond . . . / If the Moon, If the Moon . . . (3:00)
III – Transformation of Tradition
Lyrics by Theobald Tiger (Kurt Tucholsky)
Hanns Eisler (1898–1962): From Zeitungsausschnitte, Op. 11 (Newspaper Clippings)
bk Mariechen / Little Marie (1:49) Total Time: (78:58)
bl Kriegslied eines Kindes / A Child’s Song of War (2:32)

IV – The Poetics of Exile: Songs by Hanns Eisler and Kurt Tucholsky (1890–1935) New Budapest Orpheum Society
Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano
bm Heute zwischen Gestern und Morgen / Today between Yesterday and Tomorrow (2:35)
Stewart Figa, baritone
bn Bügerliche Wohltätigkeit / Civic Charity (3:01)
Ilya Levinson, piano
bo Zuckerbrot und Peitsche / Sweetbread and Whips (2:20)
Iordanka Kissiova, violin
bp An den deutschen Mond / To the German Moon (2:46)
Henry Tausend, drums
bq Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit / Unity and Justice and Freedom (1:53)
Stewart Miller, bass
br Couplet für die Bier-Abteilung / Couplet for the Beer Department (1:26)
Philip V. Bohlman, artistic director
Producer: James Ginsburg / Engineer: Bill Maylone / Graphic Design: Melanie Germond
To the memory of our friend
Cover: Boris Borvine Frenkel (1895–1984): Jewish Musicians in the Snow, c.1930 (oil on canvas) © Bridgeman Art Library
and fellow New Budapester Recorded April 2-4, 2008 in the Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio, WFMT, Chicago
Peter Blagoev PUBLISHERS
Edmund Nick: Die möblierte Moral und andere Songs ©1931 by Universal Edition A.G., Vienna
Moses Milner: In Cheider © Music Sales Corporation
Ruik, ruik shokelt ir geloktes grines kep’l mayn vaysinke
Abraham Ellstein: Tif vi di Nacht © Music Sales Corporation o/b/o Ethnic Music
Beryozkele un davent on a shir; Hanns Eisler: Zeitungsausschnitte für Gesang und Klavier ©1929 by Universal Edition A.G., Vienna
yedes, yedes, bletele irs sheptchet shtil a t’file Songs by Hanns Eisler and Kurt Tucholsky (bm–br): © Deutscher Verlag für Musik GmbH, Leipzig
Viktor Ullmann: Three Yiddish Songs ©2004 Schott Music
zy shoin, klein Beryozkele, mispalel euch fa mir.
Georg Kreisler: Tauben vergiften ©1998 Georg Kreisler
Hermann Leopoldi and Robert Katscher: Ich bin ein unverbesserlicher Optimist ©1929 by Ludwig Doblinger (Bernhard Herz-
Peacefully, peacefully rock your little green-braided cap, mansky) K.G., Vienna - Munich.
Misha Spoliansky / Marcellus Schiffer: Heute Nacht oder nie ©1932 (renewed) WB Music Corp
My little white birch, who prays without peace. Friedrich Holländer: “Marianka”. Text by Klabund ©1919 Adolph Fuerstner-Verlag / ©1983 transfered to SCHOTT MUSIC GmbH &
Each little leaf quietly makes a wish, Co. KG, Mainz, Germany
Friedrich Holländer: “Wenn der Mond, wenn der Mond . . . “ Text by Theobald Tiger (Kurt Tucholsky) ©1919 Adolph Fuerstner-Ver-
Dear little birch, accept my prayer among these. lag / ©1983 transfered to SCHOTT MUSIC GmbH & Co. KG, Mainz, Germany

TEXT CREDITS
— from Viktor Ullmann, Three Yiddish Songs Edmund Nick Die möblierte Moral und andere Songs aus Leben in dieser Zeit ©1931 by Universal Edition A.G., Wien/UE1513
Used by Permission.
Moses Milner: In Cheider. Used by permission.
Acknowledgments Abraham Ellstein: Tif vi di Nacht © Music Sales Corporation o/b/o Ethnic Music. Used by permission.
Hanns Eisler Zeitungsausschnitte, Op. 11 ©1929 by Universal Edition A.G., Wien/UE 9647 Used by Permisson.
The twentieth-century creators and performers of Jewish cabaret never failed to recognize Georg Kreisler: Tauben vergiften. Text used by permission.
Hermann Leopoldi and Robert Katscher: Ich bin ein unverbesserlicher Optimist. Text used with kind permission of the publisher.
that their endeavors reflected an intense engagement with the work of the collective. Heute Nacht Oder Nie: Words by Marcellus Schiffer, Music by Mischa Spoliansky ©1932 (renewed) WB Music Corp. (ASCAP). All
Inspired by our musical forebears, the New Budapest Orpheum Society is no less indebted rights reserved. Used by Permission.
Tell Me Tonight: Words by Frank Eyton and Marcellus Schiffer, Music by Mischa Spoliansky ©1932 (renewed) WB Music Corp.
to the many rather than the few, and we wish to thank all those who make our labors and (ASCAP). All rights administered by WB Music Corp. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.
this CD possible. An Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Chicago, we thank Martha
Roth, Dean of the Humanities Division and stalwart on the Committee of Jewish Studies, as Cedille Records is a trademark of The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation
well as Martha Feldman, Acting Chair of the Music Department. We do not forget all that devoted to promoting the finest musicians and ensembles in the Chicago area. The Chicago Classical Recording
Foundation’s activities are supported in part by contributions and grants from individuals, foundations,
Mary Jean Kraybill did as we extended our public beyond the University of Chicago. George corporations, and government agencies including the Alphawood Foundation, Irving Harris Foundation, Kirkland
Rosenbaum was a special friend, because he really cared; we have included a song by & Ellis Foundation, NIB Foundation, Negaunee Foundation, Sage Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural
Affairs (CityArts III Grant), and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
Hermann Leopoldi especially for him. The debt of thanks we owe to Cedille Records is sim-
ply enormous: Special thanks to Jim Ginsburg, Bill Maylone, Cindy Ross, Melanie Germond, Contributions to The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation may be made at
www.cedillerecords.org or 773-989-2515.
and Nancy Bieschke. Peter Blagoev was in our midst during the years we prepared this CD,
and we are thankful to be able to sound his voice once again. CDR 90000 110 P & C 2009 Cedille Records
4
Trademark of The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation. All Rights Reserved. 5
24
PROMISE ME, YOU WILL NOT SUDDENLY FALL SILENT Jewish History as Exile Edge of a Volcano track bs), could not bear
JEWISH CABARET IN EXILE more trenchant witness to that doubleness.
Song has been the language of exile Through the 1930s and 1940s Brecht and
Philip V. Bohlman throughout the long course of Jewish history. Eisler followed intersecting paths of exile,
Song chronicled the possibilities of survival, variously through Switzerland, Denmark,
Du kleiner Kasten, den ich flüchternd trug through hopefulness and in despair. Song Sweden, the United States, and then back
Daß seine Lampen mir auch nicht zerbrächen provided a home in which the language to a Germany divided into two.
Besorgt von Haus zum Schiff, vom Schiff zum Zug of the everyday lived on, be that language
Daß meine Feinde weiter zu mir sprächen Yiddish or Ladino, or even more the literary They did not travel alone on these paths of
languages that never would have known exile, but were joined, however briefly, by
An meinem Lager und zu meiner Pein modernity without Jewish influence. Song fellow travelers of exile, among them Kurt
Der letzten nachts, der ersten in der Früh’ preserved all that was precious. Song resisted Tucholsky, Anna Seghers, Friedrich Holländer,
Von ihren Siegen und von meiner Müh: oppression and the oppressors, fighting back Joseph Roth, Kurt Weill, Arnold Zweig — the
Versprich mir, nicht auf einmal stumm zu sein! even as the last resort. Song struggled under cast of characters envoicing the language of
the burden of futility and irony. In the exile exile is as endless as exile itself. When these
You, tiny box I carried while I fled, unleashed by diaspora (the centuries of exile fellow travelers survived — and many did not
So no harm would come to your lamps, endured by Jews after the destruction of the — they translated the fragile and traumatic
From house to ship, from ship to train, in my care, Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE), and world around them with the language of
So that my enemies might still speak to me, holocaust alike, song echoed the language exile. Their medium of translation was the
of the victor no less than of the vanquished common voice that song, like no other form
Wherever I am, and despite my distress, (see Kertész 2003).* of expression, made possible.
At night’s close, at dawn’s break,
About their victories and about my struggle: Jewish cabaret was born of and borne by Cabaret conjoins the paths of exile as meta-
Promise me, you will not suddenly fall silent! the exiled language of song, and it was phor and reality, always taking the closing
thus destined to perform a vexed dou- command of “To the Little Radio” seriously. In
Bertolt Brecht: Auf den kleinen Radioapparat bleness. Bertolt Brecht’s “Auf den kleinen his setting of the Brecht poem, Hanns Eisler
From Steffinische Sammlung; set by Hanns Eisler as
Radioapparat” (“On the Little Radio”) and its sets a critical modulation in motion. Indeed,
An den kleinen Radioapparat, in Hollywood Songbook (1942–43)
transformation into one of the great anthems he did this with all the Brecht poems that he
of Jewish cabaret in exile, Hanns Eisler’s “An gathered from the poet’s Hollywood collec-
den kleinen Radioapparat” (Dancing on the tions (see Brecht 1981: 727–821) and reas-
sembled for his Hollywood Songbook (see
*see bibliography on p. 32 for complete citations
6 7
Roth 2007; Bohlman and Bohlman 2007). its voice, insistently, to the languages of exile e.g., Adler 2008; Benz and Neiss 1994; Mertz
The slight adjustment of the title from “On (see Bohlman 2006). 1985; Sebald 1992). Jewish folk song and
the Little Radio” to “To the Little Radio” traditional music assume new form through
affords the song a new agency. Ironically, The link of cabaret to Jewish exile draws us revival as icons of wandering and exile, Fig. 1
Wanderlied für Kinder
the radio in the song embodies the dis- into larger discussions of Jewish music itself, the path even of Jewish children toward
Marching Song for Children
embodied voices of the poem. Whereas so fraught throughout cultural history with the a promised land, as in the “Wanderlied” by Abraham Zvi Idelsohn
the text comes to a halt in the poem, in dilemma of identity. So explicit is exile in Jewish published by the great chronicler of Jewish
the song it to continues to ring forth. The music that we might ask whether it is funda- music in diaspora, Abraham Zvi Idelsohn,
music that continues to ring forth because mental to making music Jewish. Friday evening in Figure 1 below juxtaposing the very
of those who carried these repertories with Sabbath services open when Shechina, the humanness (Mensch) of exile with song:
them during exile powerfully inflects the feminine presence of God, is musically wel-
language of that exile with the linguistic comed into the Jewish community gathered 1. Gad, Efraim, Chaim, Dan,
and political dialects mustered by cabaret. in the synagogue with the song “Lecha dodi,” Let’s go, we want to journey to the
(Come, My Beloved). Symbolically, also physi- Garden of Eden!
The creators and performers of cabaret are cally and musically, the Sabbath Bride of “Lecha Stand in rank and file,
unusually and uncannily drawn into its root- dodi” thus represents a moment of rest in the We soldiers, march forward!
edness in the rootlessness of exile. It is in the journey of exile and diaspora. One, two, halt! One, two, halt!
uncanny transience of cabaret, moreover, that
the question of its Jewishness arises. The songs Diaspora, in its core of historical meaning 2. Hands to your side, back straight!
on this CD raise that question in many differ- and capacity to generate diversity within Pay attention to where you’re going!
ent forms, but they resist conclusive answers Jewish culture, also provides a critical rep- Everyone march straight ahead!
to it. Cabaret does not lend itself to a division ertory of metaphor to make music Jewish Make sure you march quickly on!
between Jewish and non-Jewish. Brecht, after within exile. How, of course, is it possible One, two, halt! One, two, halt!
all, was not Jewish, Eisler was. Jewish cabaret to separate exile from diaspora? Ritually
forms when the non-Jewish and Jewish inter- or musically? Placelessness and pogrom 3. The sun is as warm as the oven coals,
sect, when, that is, they become inseparable. (the physical attacks on and destruction of Sweat runs from every brow;
What becomes evident in the songs gathered Jewish towns), too, accompany diaspora But be silent! Put your hand over your
by the New Budapest Orpheum Society for and are accompanied by exile, realizing the mouth!
this CD is that, in the course of the twentieth aesthetics of silence and tragedy, but also of Who would hum on a day like today?
century, so dominated by exile, cabaret was soteriology (the capacity to arise again from One, two, halt! One, two, halt!
overwhelmingly Jewish. Jewish cabaret lent destruction and death), that is of revival (see,
8 9
The cabaret stage gathers Jewish songs of particularly in the songs by Hanns Eisler and realized in the opening lines of songs such brilliant parodies, composed in Berlin and
exile, revoicing them as narratives of and Edmund Nick to texts by Kurt Tucholsky and as “Hotel Room 1942,” from another of the Hollywood alike. This CD also includes songs
responses to the exile from which the caba- Erich Kästner. By the end of World War I and great monuments to exile, Hanns Eisler’s from Jewish musicians who did not survive,
ret performer takes them. We might turn with the collapse of the German and Austro- and Bertolt Brecht’s Hollywood Songbook such as Viktor Ullmann’s concentration-camp
briefly to the endeavors of the cabaretiste, Hungarian empires, the streets, clubs, and (listen to the recording on track bp of the CD songs, Three Yiddish Songs (Březulinka), op. 53
searching for the aesthetics of exile on the stages of Berlin, Munich, Prague, and Vienna accompanying Bohlman 2008b). (1944), which sustain musical life even in the
stage of the Jewish cabaret, which so often were filled with popular music, created and face of death.
provides the way station of exile. performed by Jewish immigrants. These Against the white-washed wall stands the
cities each boasted their Tin Pan Alleys, and black suitcase, filled with manuscripts. The tragedy in the songs of Jewish cabaret
Jewish cabaret is a phenomenon of moder- like their American counterpart, they were Beyond it rests the smoking materials, in exile is never a cry of hopelessness.
nity following the industrialization of rural cauldrons for Jewish popular music. next to the copper ashtray. Through song, poets, composers, musicians,
Jewish life that swept across Europe at the and audiences all confronted modernity
end of the nineteenth century. Beginning in The songs on this CD also represent people With its restaging of Jewish cabaret, the New in its most brutal forms, but they knew
the 1880s especially, Jews were forced once and music in movement, which increasingly Budapest Orpheum Society illuminates the that music made crucial forms of survival
again into exile, from the country to the city expanded to exile in the twentieth century. path of Jewish exile against the backdrop of possible, above all through exile. The songs
to escape the accelerating pogroms and Even as modern exile songs come into the tragedies of twentieth-century history (for on Jewish Cabaret in Exile live, ultimately, in
prejudice of European non-Jewish society to existence, they reflect the dynamic flow of a collective biography of musicians repressed the generations that follow, the musicians
find jobs in the factories of Vienna, Budapest, recent migration and centuries-old diaspora. by the Holocaust see Weniger 2008). Each who perform them and the listeners who
and Berlin, and to send their children to Fifty years later, on the eve of the Holocaust, path of exile is given its own musical narrative experience their power. In this way, musically,
universities and trade schools. Exile and the another type of movement enters the songs — realized on this CD in the themes of each the New Budapest Orpheum Society keeps
displacement of Jewish families to the city (listen, especially, to the songs by Hanns section or set of songs — which the ensemble the promise to Eisler, Brecht, and the other
fill cabaret songs, often tales of the hapless Eisler on the present CD). In the 1930s, brings to life in settings and arrangements, poets and composers whose songs fill this
immigrant, barely able to speak German, as Jews were increasingly excluded from many of them never previously heard, CD: we “will not fall silent suddenly.”
who nonetheless finds the wherewithal to public life by the German and later Austrian most recovered from the tragedy of World
earn a fortune or find success (see, e.g., tracks fascist governments, they faced decisions War II and the Holocaust. In addition to the Political Song and Jewish Cabaret
1–6 on Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano). about leaving the worlds to which they had songs from Central Europe during the era of
adapted for several generations. They faced, fascism and holocaust, the New Budapesters Jewish cabaret is public and political. Those
The modern city as a way station for exile is in a word, exile, and accordingly Jewish also sing songs from Yiddish cinema, which who create and perform its songs take direct
everywhere in the songs on this CD. Indeed, song turned into a voice for exile — a means thrived only during the 1930s in Poland aim at the ills and evils of society, and in so
from song to song we follow a type of city of responding to the crisis that loomed ever before destruction in World War II, but form doing the artists of cabaret take the side of
map in the broadsides we bring to the stage, larger on the horizon. This is ultimately a counterpoint with Friedrich Holländer’s those in disadvantaged positions. Cabaret is
10 11
the music of alterity, that is, of an otherness heard before — often contain some of the ballad, in other words the strophic narrative and the written, Kästner and Tucholsky, and
born of the abuse of power. Taking the side most cutting social critique. form that unfolds as a series of dramatic the composers with whom they collabo-
of the Other and the Outsider also places scenes. It is this narrative-musical structure rated in the first and fourth sets of songs
cabaret performers at risk. The politically A song text that at one moment seems cloy- that allows new meaning — the trauma on this CD deliberately employed genres
powerful often seek to drive cabaret players ingly nostalgic launches a full-fledged social of the concentration camp — to accrue at the nexus of folk, popular, and art song,
from the stage. The choice faced by many commentary the next. The satirical and the to the folk songs of Viktor Ullmann’s Three not just the ballad but also the Moritat (the
cabaretistes, including most of those for serious intersect, as do the lament and the Yiddish Songs. The ballad contains a cast of German street broadside, the text of which
whom the songs on this CD were created, love song. At first hearing it may surprise characters who are stereotyped and ideal- expresses a moral lesson) and the worker’s
was silence or exile. With few exceptions, the many to hear the several instances of lullaby ized, who are then mixed with a real and song. With each new genre and style added
second option was always preferable. (e.g., “The Father’s Lullaby” and “The Little historical cast of characters. The mother to the mix, the songs resonated for new
Birch”) and tango (e.g., “Deep as the Night” seeking the lost love of her son (“Song audiences and more diverse publics.
The potency of popular song to mobi- and “Marianka”), but it is precisely in their of the Lost Son”) is both real and ideal, a
lize the political lies in the ways it mixes familiarity that they become the catalyst symbol of a nostalgia generated by the The frequent presence of humor in cabaret
genres. By turning genres inside-out and for the deeper political meaning evident in modernity of Weimar Germany. A Tucholsky songs also contributes to the ways in which
juxtaposing them in unexpected ways, the the parody of lullaby employed by Hanns couplet (“Couplet of the Beer Department”) they mix genres and engender complex
songsmith and composer unleash the play Eisler for “My Mother Is Becoming a Soldier.” locates a cast of comic characters on the meanings. Humor provided a means of
of parody and double entendre. Tunes move Hybrid genres, moreover, challenge the cen- stage, where they become metaphors for keeping ideological opposition alive on
malleably from one repertory to another, sor because their “real meanings” are difficult the machines of social decay. the popular stage, allowing performers to
or from folk to popular to classical genres, to pin down. The moment everything seems chronicle the lives of the working class and
and in so doing they expose meanings that to make sense, the political songsmith slips The ballads rely on hybridity in still other poor, or of urban immigrants escaping the
might not have been originally apparent. into another style or skirts the subject that ways. They rely on the common practice pogroms and political repression of Eastern
The quotation of the melody of the German is too obviously suspect. Chameleon-like, of connecting folk song in oral tradition to Europe for the promise of the industrial city.
national anthem, the “Deutshlandlied” political song acquires its power as more and popular and art song in written tradition. In many of the songs on this CD, the listener
(commonly known as “Deutschland über more hybridity accrues to it. The poetry of Erich Kästner, Kurt Tucholsky, meets individuals whose follies have placed
alles”) that opens the Eisler-Tucholsky “Unity and Georg Kreisler appeared first in liter- them in improbable situations where their
and Justice and Freedom” on this CD, there- When examining the ways in which genre ary journals and newspapers, from which actions, whether in vain or simply mis-
fore, undermines rather than supports the undergoes processes of hybridization in songwriters adapted them because they guided, are meant to be greeted by laugh-
values of the song’s title. Song elements political song, the New Budapest Orpheum dovetailed with popular tunes that might ter, but also by serious reflection on the
that at first hearing seem innocent — the Society begins by taking the idea of genre well lead them to the top of the charts. tribulations that have been inflicted upon
frequent reliance on folk melodies that in its rather literal sense. The genre lying at Recognizing the pregnant moment result- them. Humor, the stock in trade of a caba-
many hearing this CD will think they have the heart of many songs on the CD is the ing from the cross-fertilization of the oral ret ensemble such as the New Budapest
12 13
Orpheum Society, seldom remains isolated drawing audiences to their song repertories couplet (comic scenes, often sung by duos theatrical genres is even more expansive
in the political songs. The songs stir a full while their power lay in their textual clarity on the cabaret stage) in fin-de-siècle Vienna in the songs by Friedrich Holländer and
range of emotions, which together make it and steadfastness of purpose. It is this quality and Berlin. After World War II, that sensibility Hanns Eisler, both of whom wrote exten-
possible for audiences to identify the songs we encounter when we hear these songs, once again attracted the socially engaged sively for movies the moment sound film
with their everyday worlds. recognizing some as enduring popular singer-songwriter to the cabaret, as the became viable. The hybridity of popular-
songs (e.g., Weill’s “Mack the Knife” or Eisler’s songs by Edmund Nick, Hermann Leopoldi, song genres for the stage was revolution-
It is in popular song, especially, that the “Solidarity Song”; cf. Dancing on the Edge of a and Georg Kreisler richly illustrate. ary precisely during the era of the 1920s
political undergoes a transformation that Volcano track br) and feeling an affinity with and 1930s, and beyond in the exile of the
simulates the everyday. The poets of the all as somehow “our” songs. In countless Succeeding in the world of the popular 1940s, when music for the cabaret found
1920s and 30s crafted an aesthetic aimed at respects, they have also become some of stage, of course, meant that a song had new homes on the stage of the American
rescripting seemingly extraordinary events the most memorable musical moments of to be flexible. Cover versions were the rule musical and the Hollywood film.
so that they felt commonplace, hence draw- the twentieth century. rather than the exception, and parody and
ing all citizens close to the events in the stereotype left no one’s sensibilities unchal- From their composition and dissemination
texts. To match the shift of the political to There are yet more reasons that many of the lenged. The stage allowed tradition to be to their performance and reception the
the everyday in the poetic texts, the com- songs on Jewish Cabaret in Exile feel striking- historicized no less than bowdlerized. It songs on Jewish Cabaret in Exile frequently
posers whose song settings fill this CD also ly familiar: In one version or another, these was on the popular stage, moreover, that had to tread a thin line between the sanc-
forged musical styles and vocabularies that songs found their way to the stage, where the most serious issues of the day could tioned and forbidden, and between the
enhanced the sense that the poems and some thrived and a few even became hits. be clothed such that they would be rec- legal and illegal. Their creators and per-
music belonged to the people and gave Stage, in this sense, has both general and ognizable to the audience while remaining formers also negotiated social and ethnic
voice to their concerns. Cabaret provided specific meanings, literal and figurative opaque to the censors looking for hidden religious differences, particularly the dis-
an impetus, ideologically and musically, for forms. From the end of the nineteenth meanings while the actors and singers were tinctions between what was perceived as
a modulation of the modernist into the century until the 1930s, the one stage that wearing the real point on their sleeves. The Jewish or not. Whereas some of the songs,
everyday, a stylistic sea change that one would pick up many of these songs was composers creating the repertories on this especially those with an indebtedness to
hears most dramatically in the differences the cabaret, with its mixture of skits, satiri- CD fully recognized the political and popu- oral tradition (e.g., Viktor Ullmann’s Three
between Hanns Eisler’s Newspaper Clippings cal and sentimental songs, and parodies lar potential of the stage. The listener will Yiddish Songs), probably circulated almost
and his settings of Tucholsky texts. Working of scenes from operas and operettas alike. witness that recognition strikingly among exclusively in Jewish popular culture, many
with musical materials that stressed the The sensibility of cabaret runs through all the cabaret songs in the second set of others are the products of remarkably fruit-
familiar and the accessible, composers of the the songs, for it was the theatrical venue songs with Yiddish texts, some seemingly ful collaborations between Jewish and non-
interwar period and the Holocaust, such as that attracted Kurt Tucholsky and Friedrich sacred, others overtly secular, all engaging Jewish musicians and writers. Collaborations
Eisler and Kurt Weill, crafted melody and har- Holländer in the 1920s and 1930s just as the musical possibility of the shift from such as those between Hanns Eisler and
mony that possessed the ring of the popular, seductively as the creators of broadside and cabaret stage to sound film. The range of Bertolt Brecht, or between Edmund Nick
14 15
and Erich Kästner are notable because they permanence, which Nazi book-burnings in Does exile transform song? How is it pos- An aesthetic of exile is only possible through
so richly reveal that the sources for popular the 1930s directly threatened, but rather in sible to speak of an aesthetic of exile when the type of performativity that gives life to
and political music in the twentieth century its capacity to accompany exile, borne so it results from tragedy and in trauma? These the cabaret stage. To this end, the songs of
lay in the blurring of cultural borders. often by song. Exile and its persistent coun- questions, rather than their answers, accom- the New Budapest Orpheum Society con-
terpart in Jewish history, diaspora, also find pany the poem that opens this section, one stitute a performative act, empowering the
The Jewishness of the songs, indeed, often their way into the journey that cabaret songs of the great Yiddish poetic anthems to exile. ensemble to act upon its repertory as trans-
remained open to question less for reli- document. These are, indeed, the songs of Samuel Jacob Imber (1889–1942) chronicled lators: hearing and listening, reading and
gious reasons than for political ones. For exile and survival, which provided alternative the life of exile that was his own, a life that singing, sounding and healing. Translation
what kind of public were they intended? courses for a journey encumbered by censor- ended when he perished in the Holocaust, thus also becomes a creative form of artis-
Just how did the Jewish and non-Jewish ship and halted by book-burnings that threat- killed in his own Galician border region tic expression. Translation — and here we
intersect and designate that public? To ened Jewish and non-Jewish poets alike. As shared by modern Poland and Ukraine. The must be specific, for we mean translation
what extent were questions about race and political and popular songs, they survived by nephew of Naphtali Herz Imber, whose that is intertextual, intergeneric, interactive
religion being forced to the central position charting the very possibility of exile. poem, “Ha-Tikva,” serves as the text for the — aspires to the possibility of a wholeness,
in the pre-Holocaust agendas of rising fas- Israeli national anthem, Samuel Jacob Imber seemingly rerouted and made ill by years
cism? These were the questions tackled by Toward a Poetics of Jewish Cabaret in Exile escaped pogrom and war in Galicia to arrive of exile. Translation empowers with a new
Jewish popular musicians and the issues in Vienna and then the United States in the aesthetic and a new language, what Imre
confronted head-on by Jewish cabaret, the Year after year, my soul has wandered, 1920s, where he became one of the great Kertész calls “the exiled language” (Kertész
tradition upon which the New Budapest Measuring the world in its pace, voices of Yiddish literary modernism. 2003).
Orpheum Society draws. Seeing with sadness so many happy
lands— Imber’s own life, like the allegorical soul in The New Budapest Orpheum Society
The metaphors and tropes of modern Jewish Oh, soul, why are you so ill! this poem, was in constant exile. It was only empowers translation in this way because
history run through these songs, transform- in poetry and song that it found its home, we believe these songs are not shadows
ing them into a roadmap through prejudice And yet my soul returned, its “cradle,” that symbol of the lullaby, which of the original, diminished in some way
and peril alike, indeed through the multiple Coming from blossoming lands, also provides an essential link to many of because of the loss of traces of originality.
landscapes that stretched into exile. Thus this Into the land, poor and holy— the songs on this CD. With this poem, the The translator musters many tools, which
CD charts the course of a historical journey, Poor and healing—like a cradle aesthetics of exile and exile itself become allow her even to continue the task of
fraught at every turn with detour and dis- one, far more than a symbol, rather a mean- creating, not to complete it as such, but to
placement, yet ironically following the path Samuel Jacob Imber – Gevandert hot yorn mayn sele / ingful moment for the artistic realization of expand — to listen between and beyond
Year after Year, My Soul Has Wandered (from Imber 1912–1915; exile itself. It is to this end — this cradle of the rhythm of the poetry — to expand
also familiar to people accustomed to dis-
from the German in Soxberger 2008: 22)
covering their “homeland in the book.” The healing and holiness — that so many songs the stepwise journey of the melody. The
security of the book, however, lay not in its of Jewish Cabaret in Exile aspire. translator — Ilya Levinson in his arrange-
16 17
ments and orchestrations, Philip Bohlman Music mobilizes the journey into exile by I am coming home.
in his live cabaret role as compère (the juxtaposing the everyday and the telos Where is it? Where is it?
emcee who provides scholarly and comic (the goal or end-point) evoked by the end There, where the monstrous mountains of
commentary during performance) — dares of time. Time and timelessness become smoke rise.
to think that life can be breathed into frag- interdependent; ending and beginning There it is, in the fires.
ments, and that the sounds of the poet’s become one (see, e.g., the treatment of My father city, will it welcome me?
voice need never be abandoned to silence. time in Adler 2008). Accordingly, we find a The bombers came before me.
Translating the music of Jewish cabaret that proliferation of songs about journey in the Deadly swarms announce to you my return.
has been displaced restores for it the place aesthetics of exile. Songs of exile resist the Firestorms precede the son.
it has lost. This is the poesis of exile. journey beyond the homeland, coming to
rest only through exile. Once again, a song Die Heimkehr/ The Homecoming (Hanns Eisler and Bertolt
Brecht; from Hollywood Liederbuch; for a recorded performance
It is a poesis that has particular resonance joined by Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht in
by the New Budapest Orpheum society see the CD in Bohlman
in the context of work on Jewish history in the Hollywood Songbook becomes itself far 2008b: track bt)
the twentieth century, its trauma and trag- more than a symbol of exile and return.
edy. First, the translator in some measure The paradox of a return that is preceded
searches for sound in the silence, searches Die Vaterstadt, wie find ich sie doch? only by death becomes the arrival that
for voice in the loss of voice. The poetic Folgend den Bombenschwärmen marks the end of exile. That paradox is also
ontology must creatively be given to the Komm ich nach Haus. evident in the final word of S. Y. Imber’s
silence. We act by listening to — by listen- Wo liegt sie mir? Wo liegt sie mir? poem, Wiege, which lends itself to transla-
ing into — silence. Second, the translator Dort, wo die ungeheuren Gebirge von tion literally as “cradle” and metaphorically
breathes new life into the silence, but does Rauch stehn. as “coffin,” suggesting both birth and death Fig. 2 – Cover of Nick and Kästner, Die möblierte Moral
not primarily use translation to rescue and Das in den Feuern dort ist sie. (drawing by Georg Grosz, 1922)
(see the discussion of lullabies on Jewish
reiterate the lost life, whereby it would Die Vaterstadt, wie empfängt sie mich Cabaret in Exile that follows below). Eisler
only confirm loss by multiplying it. Third, wohl? and Brecht’s “The Homecoming” is redolent following the aesthetic journey find they
the translation opens new and alternative Vor mir kommen die Bomber. with irony as the journey of exile comes can no longer extricate themselves from it,
modes of performing poetry and song. Tödliche Schwärme melden euch meine to its end. We find ourselves at once con- can no longer find a detour from the path
Through the translation of performance Rückkehr. signed and resigned to an aesthetic of exile that lies ahead.
the New Budapest Orpheum Society seeks Feuersbrünste gehn dem Sohn voraus. that is also an aesthetic of transcendence.
to know a new wholeness of place that at At some point — along the journey itself The songs on Jewish Cabaret in Exile chart
once recognizes and defies the impossibil- My home city, how does it seem to me? — the boundaries between the two aes- the very path of exile itself, each set articu-
ity of fully dislodging music from exile. After the massive bombing thetics blur. We recognize this as those lating the conditions of transit along a
18 19
journey consisting of one way station after The CD concludes with groups of songs that because of the rise of fascism. Those who Critical to the power of the collective
another. Cabaret and the songs created chart new paths of transit: reprise, return, created and performed cabaret, however, voice was also the symptom of the dan-
for it depend on mobility, the capacity to revival. Even at these way stations the com- spoke not only among themselves, but gers it faced: censorship, the destruction of
create in vocal styles that admit to improvi- poser and performer take to the boards, they conceived of an art-form that could resources, prejudice and racism, violence
sation and changing possibilities for instru- perhaps finding refuge in nostalgia, but more penetrate to the farthest reaches of a soci- and the flight it necessitated. The collective
mental accompaniment and orchestration. often opening new avenues for memory ety undergoing dizzying change. voice of the song sets on this CD would
The composer, poet, and singer-songwriter and memorial. The transits of Jewish cabaret not have been possible without a passion
discover the materials for their songs in the in exile provide mirrors of the everyday and The repertory chosen by the New Budapest toward collaboration. In each set we see
everyday — vernacular speech, folk song the longue durée of the Jewish experience of Orpheum Society represents this passion the ways in which cabaret brought poets,
and dance, fragments of speech and bro- modernity. The way stations that form the sets to find the collective voice and enact the composers, and performers together. The
ken pieces of literary texts, the sounds of a on this CD remind us powerfully of the broad change necessary to halt and reform the opening set on the CD provides resound-
world enriched rather than disarmed by the sweep of twentieth-century Jewish history. slide into chaos. We have gathered songs ing evidence of one of the most fruitful and
abrasive and the dissonant. from different media, different anthologies, forgotten of twentieth-century cabaret col-
THE SONGS and different stylistic directions. The songs laborations, that formed by Edmund Nick
The way stations that unfold on this CD are on Jewish Cabaret in Exile capture as many (1891–1973) and Erich Kästner (1899–1974).
broadly historical, beginning in the wake Growing from and responding to the of those directions as possible. There are In their day jobs, the two followed very dif-
of World War I and the collapse of the class and religious difference, and political sets that hold true to the melos of folk ferent paths: Nick as a composer and music
long nineteenth century. They resume as and ethnic diversity, of twentieth-century song; others strive to be openly modern- administrator, working especially with
cabaret launches response and resistance Europe, cabaret — and above all, Jewish ist; there are the nuanced gestures toward genres for the stage and new media, such
to the disintegration of the political climate cabaret — became the voice of the collec- aesthetic trends evoking the everyday and as radio and film, and Kästner as perhaps
between the wars, but they then accrue tive, striving for a common ground that all those responding to an era of machines. the best-known German author of chil-
around new way stations in the 1930s, as individuals and groups in European soci- The ways in which so many songs conform, dren’s literature in the twentieth century.
cabaret realizes the new potential in sound ety could claim. From the vantage point even deliberately, reflect an awareness of Together, however, they created more than
recording and film. By the late 1930s caba- of twenty-first-century revivals, the Central the literary journal and the sound record- 60 songs. They collaborated before World
ret, especially Jewish cabaret, is forced into European Jewish cabaret that appeared ing alike, both stressing the poignancy of War II, as Germany slid into the “great ennui,”
the disturbing trajectories of inner exile and in clubs, theaters, dance halls, and liter- the fragment. Perhaps most collective of and again after the war at the Schaubude
the trauma of the Holocaust. It is both tell- ary gatherings after the dissolution of the all, many of the songs on the CD seized cabaret in Munich. Neither was Jewish,
ing and tragic that cabaret also survived to German and Austro-Hungarian empires in the aesthetic possibilities opened by film, though their biographies intersected with
play again even at the way stations of the the wake of World War I might seem at first especially those that could powerfully con- Jewish musical and literary traditions, forc-
concentration camps, which all-too-often glance esoteric, the aesthetic fantasies and vey the ways in which music for the stage ing both into inner exile during the war (on
proved to be the final stage. experiments of leftist intellectuals doomed synthesized the collective. the Jewishness of Jewish popular music see
20 21
Bohlman 2006 and Bohlman 2008a: 237–45; displaced by familial and generational dif- reflect the dual roles he knows as a cantor With the two songs from Hanns Eisler’s
on inner exile see Haarmann 2002). Coeval ferences. Verse by verse, however, each song for a Conservative synagogue and a long- Zeitungsausschnitte, op. 11 (Newspaper
with the rise of fascism, both employed a reveals a social despair that could not be time engagement with the Yiddish stage Clippings) we begin to follow yet another
critique of the collapse of German society sustained, especially in a Germany attempt- in its many forms from the past century. In course of exile through the politics of the
and the growing danger to those who did ing to avoid the obvious rise of new forms of both roles, sacred and secular, he is indebt- twentieth century, capturing a fleeting but
not conform. Kästner’s novel, Fabian, of inequality and prejudice. ed to repertories that confront the “end of also profound glimpse of the composer in
1931 was a brilliant satire, which took the time.” Yiddish theater, including Yiddish film transit and compositional style in transforma-
reader inside the bureaucracy of the office Musically, the Well-Furnished Morals speaks musicals, thrived from the late nineteenth tion. Dating from 1925–26, the Newspaper
and into the cabaret alike, drawing fire brilliantly to the diverse musical styles and century until the late 1930s, that is, until Clippings appeared during the moment Eisler
from the German censors and eventually meanings that are crucial to cabaret as the eve of the Holocaust. Its practitioners was moving from Vienna and resettling in
succumbing to the fires of the Nazi book- music. Each song satirizes a different genre found their way to Vienna, Berlin, and the Berlin and capture a moment in which he
burning on May 10, 1933. — a lullaby (“The Father’s Lullaby,” track 2), United States, where they were distinctive rethinks the very meaning of the material he
an elegy (“Elegy in the Forest of Things,” for the many ways in which they responded uses to create his songs. The reasons for his
The early song collaborations of Nick and track 3), or a pair of tangos (again “Elegy,” to the shifting contexts of Jewish identity, transit from Vienna to Berlin were many and
Kästner in Weimar Germany are largely for- track 3, and “The Chanson for Those Who be these traditionally religious, as in Moses complex. Biographically, the move intensified
gotten, in part the victim of the historical Are Born Better,” track 5). Composed for Milner’s “In the Cheder” or secular, as in and focused his commitment to socialism,
moment of social upheaval they document- voice and piano, the songs lend themselves Mordechai Gebirtig’s “Abe, the Pickpocket,” a especially its engagement with the working
ed. The six songs of Die möblierte Moral (The to improvisation, which Ilya Levinson has folklike song that comes from the final days classes, for it was upon arrival in Berlin that
Well-Furnished Morals) with which we open exploited fully in his arrangements, at once of the Polish Jewish community; Gebirtig Eisler officially joined the Communist Party.
this CD clearly reveal why the New Budapest capturing the jazz-inflected sound of the himself perished, but the incomparable Musically, Eisler was turning in frustration away
Orpheum Society has so actively sought early 1930s and making place for the inter- range of his poetic imagination survives from the modernism of the New Viennese
to recover these songs. The lyrics of the vention of later styles (e.g., “The Song ‘Once in his poetry and songs. Abraham Ellstein’s School, above all Arnold Schoenberg, with
songs wear social criticism on their sleeves, Again One Must . . .’” that closes the set). “Deep as the Night” is a Yiddish anthem whom he openly quarreled in 1926. He sought
targeting the totally non-idealized world Figuratively and literally, Nick and Kästner of a different sort, truly a hit song that has instead a music of the people, which could
that had become the target of resistance set the stage for a new moment in the transcended the fate of the Yiddish theatri- serve its collectives, among them the workers’
from the cabaret stage. On the surface, the history of cabaret, in which the collective cal tradition. Yiddish musicals and films choral and theatrical groups in Vienna and
social worlds of songs inhabited by the voice gained even more power to muster survived the Holocaust, but at enormous Berlin (e.g., Das rote Sprachrohr), for whom he
wealthy and privileged, by those comforted difference and sharpen resistance. cost: the deaths of many of the greatest created new works.
by homes and hotels that shut out the rest performers and singer-songwriters, and of
of the world, and by the very ideal of main- The Yiddish songs that Stewart Figa draws the audiences in Warsaw, Vilna, and Odessa “Little Marie” and “My Mother Is Becoming
taining the status quo contrasts with those together for the second set on the CD that kept Yiddish song going. a Soldier” capture both the fragility and
22 23
the conviction of this moment of transit in by war march toward her eventual death. A gifted writer who never found a true As he was making his own turn from the
Hanns Eisler’s life. On one hand, they stun- The dual meanings of Wiegenlied (lullaby) home and eventually took his own life in the modernist style of Newspaper Clippings to a
ningly express the potential of an aesthetic could not be more poignant and political: despair of exile in Sweden after the ascen- socially and politically engaged art, Hanns
formed from “found objects.” As their name Cradle (Wiege) and casket become one. sion of Nazism in Germany, Kurt Tucholsky Eisler discovered an ideal lyricist in Tucholsky
suggests, the Newspaper Clippings are set- found his métier in the critical and satiri- (see the compilation of their songs in Eisler
tings of texts from the press, in fact, of state- The collaboration between Hanns Eisler cal essence of the essay and the chanson 1972). The poetry was already musical, but
ments and advertisements from the classi- and Kurt Tucholsky (1890–1935) that occu- text (for a collection of his newspaper and more important, it captured the images
fied sections of Viennese newspapers. Eisler pies the central position on the CD provides journal writing see Lenze 2007). It was song and imagination of the Berlin vernacular.
sets them without author or addressee, ele- compelling evidence for cabaret at its most that provided the thread connecting his Tucholsky’s lyrics were direct and biting,
vating song to the role of social criticism. He public and political. Eisler and Tucholsky social criticism. On one hand, many of the clever and funny. They epitomized the differ-
adapts a modernist language to them, and had arrived in Berlin in the 1920s following poems he wrote for literary journals (e.g., ent possibilities for cabaret song as it found
in so doing translates them from a form of paths that were far more similar than differ- the Weltbühne, for which he was an editor its way from the stage to the larger public
literal evidence of the everyday to an indict- ent. Both had served in World War I, Eisler for many years) took the form of songs, sphere. They offered poet and composer
ment of the historical moment. It is this in the Austro-Hungarian army, Tucholsky in with names such as couplet or in the form alike a new template for the “poetics of exile,”
process of translation that Ilya Levinson’s the German, but the experience of war had of narrative song genres such as “Berliner for they decried the possibility of living in
arrangements extends. On the other hand, turned them ideologically against the social Drehorgellied” (“Berlin Hurdy-Gurdy Song”; a society that continued to justify itself on
Eisler’s settings of the Newspaper Clippings and political elites that had long played the ibid.: 41). On the other hand, Tucholsky the basis of war production and the repres-
rely on a new commitment to the unmedi- roles of power brokers in Central European sought inspiration, intellectual, if not spiri- sion of difference. Songs such as “Couplet
ated, direct response of music. “Little Marie” history. Disillusioned, both found inspi- tual and sexual, in the night scene occupied for the Beer Department” and “Sweetbread
employs a style that struggles to break into ration in the ideas coming from Eastern by cabaret, and this led him frequently to and Whips” satirically undermine the mores
dance, as the opening evocation of a slow Europe and the growing influence of com- write reviews and criticisms about “Berlin of a German society driven to modernize
waltz collapses into a rough march that munism, which offered new alternatives Night Culture” or “Berlin Cabarets” (ibid.: and industrialize. The politics of “Unity and
cruelly draws attention to the classified to the status quo and economic decline 12–16). There were times when he wrote Justice and Freedom” and “To the German
author’s depiction of a physically deformed of Weimar Germany. Perhaps more than song texts and reviews so feverishly that he Moon” exposed the paradox of maintaining
Marie, whose salvation lies ironically in the any other cultural impetus from their turn used pseudonyms — Theobald Tiger, Peter the German history that led to the destruc-
beautiful song of a German men’s chorus. to the politics of the left, it was the activ- Panter, Ignaz Wrobel, and Kaspar Hauser, to tion of World War I and the rise of fascism. If
Compared with the other lullabies on this ist agenda of socialism and Marxism that name a few — and it was not long before there is hopefulness in songs such as “Today
CD, “My Mother Is Becoming a Soldier” is an shaped their artistic voices and led, by the his poetry found its way to the very stages between Yesterday and Tomorrow” and
anti-lullaby, violently shifting between the late 1920s, to the common voice that Eisler it mirrored (Scheer 2008; see also Jelavich “Civic Charity,” it remains tinged with irony,
lyrical opening and the martial admiration and Tucholsky would find in creating songs 1993 and Stein 2006). ultimately more suitable for the stage of the
of a child who watches a mother deluded for the stage. cabaret than for the stage of history.
24 25
The six Eisler-Tucholsky songs on the CD turn laid the foundation for a nascent musi- diverse stages for musical performance, that “Berjoskele” (“The Little Birch”) opens the set
mark a moment of dramatic change in the cal aesthetics of the German Democratic Ullmann turned toward Jewish themes, set- as a lullaby, a gentle cry for peace in a world
work of their creators and symbolically in Republic, to which Eisler returned after ting songs in both Hebrew and Yiddish, nei- realized through metaphor. “Margaritkele”
the role of cabaret song in Central Europe. expulsion from the United States because ther of which he knew prior to the camps.
For Eisler, the vernacular voice-of-the-every- of his politics (Bohlman and Bohlman 2007).
day that he found in Tucholsky’s poetry For Tucholsky, irony soon turned to the The Three Yiddish Songs of op. 53, also known
would shape the core of his output, soon politically engendered hopelessness that as Březulinka, are products of Ullmann’s con-
thereafter in the collaborations with Bertolt forced the most public Jewish social critic frontation with his own Jewishness in the
Brecht in the late 1930s and 1940s, which in of his day into exile from Germany. trauma of an everyday world that enforced
Jewishness. An examination of the sketches
The songs of the fifth set are among the for the songs in the archives of the Paul
most brilliant Lieder settings produced by Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland reveals
the Czech-Jewish composer, Viktor Ullmann that Ullmann took the melodies and lyrics
(1898–1944). They were created in the trau- from a collection by Menachem Kipnis,
ma of the path of inner exile that led to the published in Warsaw soon after World War
concentration camps. It was in the camp at I (Kipnis n.d.). He set the melodies more or
Theresienstadt/Terezín that Ullmann estab- less exactly as they appear in Kipnis, though
lished a Jewish voice for his compositions, he relied on a transliteration of the Yiddish
especially his vocal works. Ullmann grew texts. In virtually every respect, his settings
up in an almost entirely assimilated world, of the Three Yiddish Songs represent a retreat
in which he received virtually no Jewish into a musical inner exile. It is as if Ullmann
education whatsoever. Coming of musical was searching again for the sound and tex-
age in the expressionism of post-World War ture of folk songs before they reached the
I Central Europe, he followed several distinc- metropole. There are scarcely any traces of
tive modernist directions, enjoying acclaim the expressionistic or modernist techniques
in Czechoslovakia but also beyond its bor- of earlier Ullmann styles, which he also
ders, especially in Germany. Forced from retained in works for the stage composed
his position at the Stuttgart Opera, Ullmann in the final year of his life, notably Die Weise
returned to Prague after 1933, where he von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke
continued to compose until his deportation (The Chronicle of Love and Death of the Flag
Fig. 3 – Hanns Eisler with Ernst Busch (after 1950) to Terezín in 1942. It was in the camp, with its Bearer Christoph Rilke) (1944). Fig. 4 – Berjoskele / The Little Birch (Kipnis n.d.: 63)
26 27
(“Little Margaret”), in contrast, is a Ländler (the again, to the disabled condition of European return to Europe and the reprise of Jewish Optimist,” that we include it on this CD. A
canonic Austrian folk dance in triple meter); society, unable to provide the cradle for the cabaret in the recent past. song overwhelming with stereotype, it takes
in Ullmann’s setting, however, it evokes the sickened soul of Jewish exile? In their banal- the misery of the everyday and the old ways
innocence of children rather than a tra- ity such questions suggest easy answers, The set begins with perhaps the best-known as its subject matter. The hapless narrator is
ditional Central European courting dance. and they underestimate the deeper commit- song by Georg Kreisler (b. 1922), whose reminiscent of the broadside characters of
Ullmann reserves the heightened emotions ment of cabaret performers to the social ills appearances even today attest to the vitality an earlier Viennese tradition (see, e.g., the
of the courting dance for the final song, “Ich that they gather up as found objects to sub- of cabaret. On its surface, “Poisoning Pigeons” opening tracks of Dancing on the Edge of a
bin a Maydl in di Yorn” (“I’m Already a Young ject to harsh criticism. Cabaret does not heal; could not be more Viennese: Kreisler uses Volcano), but here there is a different sort of
Woman”). Here we experience a march- it exposes social illness as a condition that Viennese dialect in the text; the lilting waltz suffering that is addressed with the irony of
like style, seemingly shifting the gendered refuses to go away (for the exile cabarets that would be fitting for a Viennese inn, or Heuriger; possible suicide in the chorus.
focus of the Three Yiddish Songs for the first sprang up in New York City see Klösch and the social critique savagely targets Vienna.
time to the male. Ullmann’s choice to order Thumser 2002; on the return of musicians to There is, nonetheless, a more expansive aes- The nostalgia of “Tonight or Never” is, in con-
the songs as a cycle that begins with birth, Europe from exile in the Holocaust see the thetic range in the song, evident in a type of trast, unmitigated. With lyrics by Marcellus
moves through youth, and then concludes essays in Köster and Schmidt 2005). memorywork dedicated to Jewish cabaret Schiffer, who also collaborated with Paul
with possibility of marriage, results from his itself. Even after his return to Europe in 1955 Hindemith among others, Mischa Spoliansky
own decisions about the Yiddish songs in The first response of many listeners to the and his move to Basel, Switzerland in 1992, turns to a truly cloying nostalgia. This is the
Kipnis’s Folkslider. He has retreated from the sixth set of songs on Jewish Cabaret in Exile and even upon the revival of his shows in the sound of the Berlin Wintergarten and of the
irony and pessimism of his major works from is that they slip into the past, resting on the 1980s, Kreisler has retained the American citi- clubs that Tucholsky and Kästner frequented.
Terezín, including the opera, Der Kaiser von laurels of a tradition that best conveys nos- zenship he obtained in Hollywood and New We hear the sound of that world, but not
Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis) (1943), in talgia for what will be no more. Each of the York exile (see Kreisler 2001). the substance. Like many songs on Jewish
search of a new realization of the unreality three songs, in its different ways, stands for Cabaret in Exile, “Tonight or Never” plays with
of exile, in a past that was retrievable only a repertory of beloved songs. They found Nostalgia works differently for Hermann the irony of time and timelessness, juxtapos-
through song. their way into the repertory of the New Leopoldi, and reprises a very different Vienna. ing it with the everydayness of the “tonight”
Budapest Orpheum Society after persistent Before, during, and after exile Leopoldi of the title. The allegiance to Berlin cabaret,
Was it irony or destiny that cabaret pros- requests following the ensemble’s live per- hewed to the tradition of the Wienerlied, liter- however, is undeniable, for in the end it is the
pered after the Holocaust? Does the return formances. “Couldn’t we have a Leopoldi ally the “Viennese song,” which localized the return of “never” in the return of the refrain
to German-speaking Europe of cabaret song?” “I remember Spoliansky so vividly nostalgia for simpler times and places, the with which the song rings out.
composers and performers such as Armin from my youth?” “Georg Kreisler is a sort local neighborhood and the tavern with its
Berg, Hermann Leopoldi, Friedrich Holländer, of undying, modern master of the cabaret gathering of friends (see Fig. 5). It is because With the closing set of two songs by the
and Hanns Eisler reflect continuity, even the song!” In the tradition of listening to those of the much sharper satire of Leopoldi’s great jazz musician and film composer,
urge to heal? Or does it draw attention, once who listen to us, we began exploring the signature song, “I Am an Irreconcilable Friedrich Holländer we encounter the bit-
28 29
tersweet mixture of nostalgia and its role in establishing Marlene Dietrich’s sonalities and identities in Holländer’s own
tragedy that accompanied the stardom, but because Friedrich Holländer lyrics, most in the forms of stereotypes,
reprise and revival of cabaret in (1896–1976) created the music performed in such as a Rom lover, occupying the popular
post-Holocaust, post-exile Europe. the cabaret. By the time he was leading the stage of the day. The wild acceleration
Ultimately, cabaret is stage music, stage band, the “Weintraub’s Syncopators” of “Marianka” gives way to an enigmatic
and it is therefore hardly surprising in the movie, Friedrich Holländer had timelessness in the final song on the CD:
that the changing media of the already secured a compositional voice that Friedrich Holländer’s “If the Moon, If the
stage, especially film, expanded the lent itself to film. In the course of the 1920s Moon . . .”, with its lyrics by Theobald Tiger,
stage for cabaret from the outset. and 1930s, he forged a style that was musi- one of Kurt Tucholsky’s most frequently
In the history of film, for example, cally cosmopolitan and socially critical, not used noms de plume (see Lenze 2007).
the first English-language sound least because of the lyrics upon which he Throughout his cabaret texts, Tucholsky
film, Alan Crosland’s The Jazz Singer drew, including those by Kurt Tucholsky. turns to the night as the ultimate exile
(1927), uses the cabaret stage in its Holländer fled in exile to Hollywood in the from the everyday that increasingly closed
multiple American forms of vaude- 1930s, where he wrote the music for films in upon interwar Europe. In “If the Moon,”
ville and the revue, as well as jazz such as A Foreign Affair (1948) and Sabrina Holländer employs musical references to
dance, with Al Jolson’s characteriza- (1954) by the exile director, Billy Wilder time itself, the toll of the church bells yield-
tion of Jakie Rabinowitz/Jack Robin (1906–2002). For Holländer, exile resolved ing to the laughing of the heavens at night,
moving between Jewish and non- itself through imagination and through the merrily tolerating the human frailties that
Jewish musical practices in search creation of alternative worlds that cabaret would be suppressed by day. The paths of
of his own identity in exile. The so marvelously makes possible. Following exile led Holländer and Tucholsky in differ-
presence of cabaret in early film his exile, he entered years of reprise, return- ent directions, one to Hollywood, the other
was no less true in Germany, where ing to Germany, where he spent his remain- to suicide in Sweden, but together they
Fig. 5 – Wienerlied – Ralph Benatsky: Liebe im Schnee the first talkie also took cabaret as its ing years creating for the cabaret stage. create a song that charts the paths of exile
theme. In fact, the very Blue Angel in trenchantly and tragically.
the title of Josef von Sternberg’s Der A song from Holländer’s own show, Klabund,
blaue Engel (1930) was the name of “Marianka” is one of the finest examples of
the wharfside cabaret where much cabaret song that relied on the popular
of the film was shot. dance craze that swept European stages
between the world wars. The tango pro-
The Blue Angel cabaret in the film vides the signature tune for the character
is significant not only because of of Marianka, who presents her many per-
30 31
Bibliography Haarmann, Hermann, ed. 2002. Katastrophen Kreisler, Georg. 2001. Heute leider Konzert. Soxberger, Thomas, ed. and trans. 2008.
und Utopien: Exil und innere Emigration Hamburg: Konkret Literatur Verlag. Nackte Lieder: Jiddische Literatur aus Wien
Adler, H. G. 2008. The Journey. Trans. by Peter Lenze, Mele, ed. 2007. Tucholsky in Berlin: 1915–1938. Vienna: Mandelbaum Verlag.
(1933–1945). Berlin: Bostelmann &
Filkins. New York: Random House. Gesammelte Feuilletons 1912–1930. Berlin: Stein, Roger. 2006. Das deutsche Dirnenlied:
Siebenhaar.
Benz, Wolfgang, and Marion Neiss, eds. Story Verlag. Literarisches Kabarett von Bruant bis Brecht.
Imber, S.Y. 1912–1915. Heymlider. Vienna and
1994. Deutsch-jüdisches Exil: Das Ende der Mertz, Peter. 1985. Und das wurde nicht ihr Cologne: Böhlau Verlag.
Brno: Jüdischer Buch- und Kunstverlag
Assimilation? Berlin: Metropol Verlag. Staat: Erfahrungen emigrierter Schriftsteller Weniger, Kay. 2008. Zwischen Bühne und
Max Hickel.
Bohlman, Andrea F., and Philip V. Bohlman. mit Westdeutschland. Munich: C. H. Beck. Baracke: Lexikon der verfolgten Theater-,
Jaldati, Lin, and Eberhard Robling. 1985. Es
2007. “Uncovering Hanns Eisler’s Migdal, Ulrike, ed. 1986. Und die Musik spielt Film- und Musikkünstler 1933–1945. Berlin:
brennt Brüder, es brennt: Jiddische Lieder.
Hollywood Liederbuch.” Danish Yearbook dazu: Chansons und Satiren aus dem KZ Metropol.
Berlin: Rütten & Loening.
of Musicology 35: 13–29. Theresienstadt. Munich: Piper.
Jelavich, Peter. 1993. Berlin Cabaret.
Bohlman, Philip V. 2006. “Wie die Norich, Anita. 2007. Discovering Exile: Yiddish
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
Popularmusik jüdisch wurde.” Transversal and Jewish American Culture during
Press.
7, 1: 61–73. the Holocaust. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford
Kästner, Erich. 1989. Der tägliche Kram:
Bohlman, Philip V. 2008a. Jewish Music and University Press. (Stanford Studies in
Chansons und Prosa 1945–1948. Munich:
Modernity. New York: Oxford University Jewish History and Culture)
Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.
Press. Roth, Joseph. 1976. Juden auf Wanderschaft.
Kertész, Imre. 2003. Die exilierte Sprache:
Bohlman, Philip V., ed. 2008b. Jewish Musical Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch.
Essays und Reden. Frankfurt am Main:
Modernism, Old and New. Chicago: Roth, Markus. 2007. Der Gesang als Asyl:
Suhrkamp.
University of Chicago Press. Analytische Studien zu Hanns Eislers
Kipnis, Menachem. N.d. Folkslider: Konzert-
Brecht, Bertolt. 1981. Die Gedichte von Hollywood-Liederbuch. Hofheim: Wolke
Repertoire. Warsaw: Di Velt.
Bertolt Brecht in einem Band. Ed. by Verlag. (sinefonia, 7)
Klösch, Christian, and Regina Thumser.
Elisabeth Hauptmann. Frankfurt am Scheer, Regina. 2008. Kurt Tucholsky: “Es
2002. “From Vienna”: Exilkabarett in New
Main: Suhrkamp. war ein bisschen laut”. Berlin: Hentrich
York 1938 bis 1950. Vienna: Picus Verlag.
Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano: Jewish & Hentrich. (Jüdische Miniaturen –
Köster, Maren, and Dörte Schmidt, eds. 2005.
Cabaret, Popular and Political Songs 1900– Spektrum jüdischen Lebens, 64)
Man kehrt nie zurück, man geht immer nur
1945. Chicago: Cedille Records. CDR Sebald, W. G. 1992. Die Ausgewanderten: Vier
fort: Remigration und Musikkultur. Munich:
90000 65. lange Erzählungen. Frankfurt am Main:
edition text + kritik.
Eisler, Hanns. 1972. Lieder nach Texten von Eichborn Verlag.
Kurt Tucholsky für Singstimme und Klavier.
32 Leipzig: Deutscher Verlag für Musik. 33
THE NEW BUDAPEST ORPHEUM SOCIETY Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano, has received the Edward Dent Medal from the
appeared in leading roles with opera com- Royal Music Association in 1997, the Berlin
panies throughout the world, and has been Prize from the American Academy in Berlin
featured as a soloist with orchestras led by in 2003, and the 2007 Derek Allen Prize for
Raymond Leppard, Robert Shaw, and Pierre Musicology from the British Academy.
Boulez, among others. In Chicago, she is one
of the most sought-after performers of new Stewart Figa, baritone, a cantor in the
music, but her repertory also crosses many Chicago area since 1990, has served as cantor
stylistic and ensemble boundaries in vocal, at West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River
operatic, and chamber ensembles. In 2008, Forest, Illinois, since 1998. He also comes to
she performed extensively from the works the New Budapest Orpheum Society from
of Olivier Messiaen for festivals celebrating a tradition of Yiddish theater, beginning in
the centenary of the French composer’s New York City in the 1980s. He has had the
birth. She records on the Albany, Cedille, privilege of working with some of the leg-
and Tintagel labels, and has served on the endary greats of the Yiddish stage, including
voice faculty of Northern Illinois University Leon Liebgold, Seymour Rexite, Reizel Boyzk,
in Chicago. and Max Perlman. He performs secular and
sacred Jewish music throughout the Chicago
Philip V. Bohlman, artistic director, is area, including appearances at the Spertus
the Mary Werkman Distinguished Service Institute of Jewish Studies and with the Halevi
Professor of the Humanities and Professor Choral Society.
of Music at the University of Chicago, and
Honorarprofessor of the Hochschule für Iordanka Kissiova, violinist, is active as an
The New Budapest Orpheum Society is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Musik und Theater Hannover (Germany). orchestral and chamber musician through-
Chicago. It performs locally in Chicago synagogues, universities, and cultural institutions, Among his most recent publications are out the Chicago area and the state of
and tours widely, performing at Symphony Space and Café Sabarsky in New York City, the Jüdische Volksmusik – Eine mitteleuropäische Illinois. A native of Bulgaria, she studied in
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum. Geistesgeschichte (2005) and Jewish Music Sophia at the Bulgarian National Academy
In January and February 2009, the ensemble performed at cabarets in Vienna and Berlin, and Modernity (2008), as well as the edited of Music before emigrating to the United
among them the American Academy in Berlin. The ensemble draws upon a wide range of volume, Jewish Musical Modernism, Old and States in 1993. She has played regular-
repertories, many forgotten, others preserved in European archives, all poignantly bear- New (2008), which includes a CD of the ly in regional orchestras throughout the
ing witness to the great tradition of Jewish cabaret. New Budapest Orpheum Society. He has Midwest, and is a permanent member of
34 35
the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. She joined ing studios, and festivals in and around JEWISH CABARET IN EXILE
Texts and Translations
the New Budapest Orpheum Society for Chicago. He began his performance career
special engagements for many years before with the Glen Miller Orchestra and per-
becoming a standing member in 2006. As formed widely in the Louisville-Cincinnati I – THE GREAT ENNUI ON THE EVE OF EXILE
a chamber musician, she has collaborated area before settling in Chicago in 1987. Edmund Nick (1891–1973) & Erich Kästner (1899–1974)
extensively with her late husband, Peter He can be heard on recent recordings by
Blagoev, with whom she has performed for Chicago jazz artists including trumpeter 1 Die möblierte Moral The Well-Furnished Morals
numerous recordings and live broadcasts. Orbert Davis, trombonist Russ Phillips, and 1. Mancher Mann, wie er möchte schlafen 1. Many a man may, if he wants, sleep,
singer/pianist Judy Roberts, and on Delmark Und er möchte selbstverständlich gern. And he wants to do so gladly.
Ilya Levinson, music director, arranger, Records’ 2004 release, Up Jumped Spring, by Andre Menschen will der Himmel strafen Heaven wants to punish others,
and pianist, holds degrees in composition legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller. Und er macht sie zu möblierten Herrn. And he makes himself a well-furnished man.
from the Moscow Conservatory and the Er verschickt sie zu verkniffnen Damen He sends morals to uptight ladies,
Im Logis und manchmal in Pension. In lodgings and sometimes in a pension.
University of Chicago (Ph.D. 1997). He com- Hank Tausend, percussion, is a transplant-
Blöde Bilder wollen aus dem Rahmen Stupid pictures want to escape their frames
poses in a variety of genres, including con- ed New Yorker whose many talents and
Und die Möbel sagen keinen Ton. And the furniture does not make a sound.
cert stage, opera, musical theater, and film. repertories make him one of the most Selbst das Handtuch möchte sauber bleiben, The towel itself wants to remain clean.
His klezmer musical, American Klezmer, has sought-after percussionists and teachers in Dreimal husten kostet eine Mark. It costs one Mark if you cough three times.
enjoyed a long and successful run in Los Chicago. After starting drums at thirteen, Manche dieser Schachteln zu beschreiben, To describe many of these containers
Angeles, and his works for chamber music he made his way into the New York scene, Ist kein noch so starkes Wort zu stark. Is not too strong even for a strong word.
and orchestra have recently enjoyed perfor- playing jazz at the Red Blazer and Michael’s 2. Das Klavier, die Köpfe und die Stühle 2. The piano, the heads, and the chairs
mances in France and Germany. His Klezmer Pub (in Woody Allen’s band), and Russian Sind aus Überzeugung stets verstaubt. Are always covered with dust from conviction.
Rhapsody was recorded by the Maxwell music at Town Hall and Lincoln Center (with Und die Nutzanwendung der Gefühle And the prerequisite for using feelings
Street Klezmer Band on the Shanachie label. the Balalaika Symphonic Orchestra). He is Ist uns Aftermietern nicht erlaubt. Is not permitted to us subletters.
Composer-in-residence with American equally at home presenting lectures for the Und wir nicken nur noch wie die Puppen, And we nod our heads like dolls,
Music Festivals, he is Lecturer in Music Lyric Opera of Chicago, local and regional Denn der Mund ist nach und nach vereist. For the mouth is iced shut again and again.
at Columbia College Chicago and at The orchestras, playing jazz, and joining in ver- Untermieter sind Besatzungstruppen in Sub-letters and occupying troops in the
University of Chicago. nacular and popular Jewish musics, klezmer dem Reiche, empire,
Das Familie heißt. That’s called family.
and, of course, cabaret. Hank is married to
Die möblierten Herrn aus allen Ländern The well-furnished men from every land
Stewart Miller, bassist, is a native of Chicago actress Iris Lieberman. Stehen fremd und stumm in ihrem Zimmer. Stand foreign and silent in their room.
Louisville, Kentucky, a graduate of the Nur die Ehe kann den Zustand ändern, Only marriage can change the situation.
University of Kentucky and Northern Illinois Doch die Ehe ist ja noch viel schlimmer, Marriage is, indeed, much worse, much
University, and a regular in jazz clubs, record- noch viel schlimmer, . . . worse, . . .
36 37
2 Das Wiegenlied väterlicherseite The Father’s Lullaby Wenn man schläft, kann nichts passieren. If one sleeps, nothing can happen.
Auf der Straße, vor dem Haus, On the street, in front of the house,
1. Schlaf ein, mein Kind! Schlaf ein, mein Kind! 1. Go to sleep, my child! Go to sleep, my child! Gehn den Bäumen die dort frieren, The leaves keep falling from the trees
Man hält uns für Verwandte. One takes us for relatives. Nach und nach die Haare aus. That stand there freezing.
Doch ob wir es wirklich sind? But if we really are?
Ich weiß es nicht. Schlaf ein mein Kind! I don’t know. Go to sleep, my child! Der hat es gut, den man nicht weckt: It’s good to be someone, whom one cannot wake:
Mama ist bei der Tante. Mama is at your aunt’s. Wer tot ist, schläft am längsten. He who is dead, sleeps the longest.
Wer weiß, wo deine Mutter steckt! Who knows, where your mother is!
2. Schlaf ein, mein Kind. Mein Kind schlaf ein! 2. Go to sleep, my child! My child, go to sleep! Sei ruhig. Hab’ ich dich erschreckt? Be at peace. Have I scared you?
Man kann nichts Klüg’res machen. One cannot do anything wiser. Ich wollte dich nicht ängsten. I did not want to scare you.
Ich bin so groß, du bist so klein. I am so big, you are so small.
Wer schlafen kann, darf glücklich sein. One who is able to sleep can be happy. Vergiß den Mond, schlaf ein, mein Kind, Forget about the moon, go to sleep, my child,
Wer schlafen darf, kann lachen. One who is able to sleep can laugh. Und laß die Sterne scheinen. And let the stars twinkle.
Nachts liegt man neben einer Frau, die sagt: At night, one lies next to a woman who Vergiß auch mich. Vergiß den Wind. Forget about me, too. Forget about the
Laß mich in Ruhe! says: Nun gute Nacht. Schlaf ein, mein Kind! wind.
Sie liebt mich nicht. Sie ist so schlau. Leave me in peace! Und bitte, laß das Weinen. Mh. . . ! Now, good night. Go to sleep, my child!
Sie hext mir meine Haare grau. She does not love me. She is so clever. And, please, stop your crying. Mm. . . !
Wer weiß, was ich noch tue . . . She makes my hair turn gray.
Who knows what I still should do . . . 3 Die Elegie in Sachen Wald Elegy in the Forest of Things

Schlaf ein, mein Kind, mein Kind, nun schlaf! Go to sleep, my child, my child, now sleep! 1. Die Jahreszeiten wandern durch die Wälder. 1. The seasons wander through the forests.
Du hast nichts zu versäumen. There’s nothing for you to miss. Man sieht es nicht. One does not notice it.
Man träumt vielleicht, man wär’ ein Graf. Perhaps one dreams that one could be a count. Man liest es nur im Blatt. One reads about it only in the papers.
Man träumt vielleicht, die Frau wär’ brav. Perhaps one dreams that one’s wife would Die Jahreszeiten wandern durch die Felder. The seasons wander through the fields.
Es ist so schön zu träumen. behave herself. Man zählt die Stunden. One counts the hours.
It is so beautiful to dream. Und man zählt die Gelder. And one counts the money.
Man möchte sich fort aus dem Geschrei One seeks to escape the cry of the city.
Hörst du, wie die Autos jagen? Do you hear how the cars are racing about? der Stadt.
Irgendwo geschieht ein Mord. Somewhere, there has been a murder.
Alles will dir etwas sagen, Everything wants to tell you something, Refrain Refrain
Aber du verstehst kein Wort. But you don’t understand a word. Der Blumentopf am Fenster ist dir näher. The flowerpot on the windowsill is nearer.
Sieben große und zwölf kleine Sorgen ste- Seven big and twelve little worries stand Nimm ein Vergrößerungsglas, Take a magnifying glass,
hen um dein Bett, around your bed, Dann wird’s ein Wald. Then it becomes a forest.
Und sie stehen sich die Beine bis zum And they stand there till morning to trip Was kann man and’res tun als Europäer. What else can one do as a European.
Morgen ins Parkett. you up. Die Stadt ist groß, die Stadt ist groß The city is large, the city is large
Und klein, klein ist dein Gehalt. And small, and small is what you earn.
38 39
2. Das Dächermeer schlägt ziegelrote Wellen. 2. The sea of rooftops beats with brick-red 2. Seit einem Jahre hat er eine Braut. 2. For a year he has had a wife.
Die Luft ist dick und wie aus grauem Tuch. waves. Das Bild von ihr will er schon lange schicken. A long time ago he meant to send her picture.
Man träumt von Äckern und von The air is thick, as if made of gray fabric, Ob er mich kommen läßt, wenn man sie traut? Might I visit, if it were all right for her?
Pferdeställen. One dreams of fields and of horse stables. Ich würde ihnen gern ein Kissen sticken. I would gladly embroider them a pillow.
Man weiß nur nicht, ob ihr so was gefällt. One just does not know if she’d like it.
Man träumt von Teichen, Bächen und One dreams of ponds, streams, and trout.
Forellen. One wants to take a visit in the silence. Ob sie ihn wohl, wie er’s verdiente, liebt? Does she love him as much as he deserves?
Man möchte in die Stille zu Besuch. Mir ist manchmal so einzeln auf der Welt. Sometimes I’m so alone in the world.
Refrain Ob es auch zärtlichere Söhne gibt? Are there more tender sons too?
Refrain Wie war das schön, als wir zusammen waren! It was so beautiful when we were together!
Im gleichen Haus und in der gleichen Stadt. In the same house and in the same city.
4 Der Gesang vom verlorenen Sohn The Song of the Lost Son Nachts lieg ich wach und hör die Züge At night I lie awake and listen to the trains
1. Mein Sohn schreibt mir so gut wie gar 1. My son writes almost not at all anymore. fahren. passing through.
nicht mehr. In other words, he did write at Easter. Ob er noch immer seinen Husten hat? Does he still have his cough?
Das heißt: zu Ostern hat er mir geschrieben. He writes that he thinks lovingly about me, Refrain Refrain
Er denke gern an mich zurück, schrieb er, And he will steadily love me in his heart.
Und würde mich wie stets von Herzen The last time we saw each other 5 Das Chanson für Hochwohlgeborene The Chanson for Those Who Are Born Better
lieben. Was exactly two-and-three-quarter years 1. Sie sitzen in den Grandhotels! 1. They sit in the Grand Hotels!
Das letzte Mal, als wir uns beide sahn, ago. Ringsum sind Eis und Schnee. All around, there’s ice and snow.
Das war genau vor zweidreiviertel Jahren. Sometimes I stand at the train station, Ringsum sind Berg und Wald und Fels. All around, there are mountains, forests, and cliffs.
Ich stehe manchmal an der Eisenbahn, When the trains go to Berlin (he lives there). Sie sitzen in den Grandhotels They sit in the Grand Hotels!
Wenn Züge nach Berlin (dort wohnt er) In fact, once I bought myself a ticket, Und trinken immer Tee. And always drink tea.
fahren. And I almost took a train to Berlin. Und trinken immer Tee. And always drink tea.
Doch einmal kaufte ich mir ein Billett However, I went back to the counter.
2. Sie haben ihren Smoking an. 2. They wear their tuxedoes.
Und wäre beinah nach Berlin gekommen. There, they took back the ticket.
Im Walde klirrt der Frost. The frost in the forests is crystalline.
Doch dann begab ich mich zum
Ein kleines Reh hüpft durch den Tann. A little deer leaps through the fir trees.
Schalterbrett. Sie haben ihren Smoking an They wear their tuxedoes
Dort hat man das Billett zurückgenommen. Und lauern auf die Post. And wait for the mail.
Refrain Und lauern auf die Post. And wait for the mail.
Refrain
Ich hab von ihm noch ein paar I still have some of his childhood shoes. 3. Sie schwärmen sehr für die Natur 3. They sing the praises of nature
Kinderschuhe. Now he is big, and leaves me alone. Und heben den Verkehr. And insist on riding through it.
Nun ist er groß und läßt mich so allein. I sit quietly and have no peace. Sie schwärmen sehr für die Natur They sing the praises of nature
Und kennen die Umgebung nur And they only know what it’s like
Ich sitze still und habe keine Ruhe. The best thing would be if children remained
Von Ansichtskarten her. From postcards.
Am besten wär’s, die Kinder blieben klein. small.
Von Ansichtskarten her. From postcards.
40 41
4. Sie sitzen in den Grandhotels 4. They sit in the Grand Hotels Man ließe sich von einer Frau verführen One lets oneself be led astray by a woman,
Und sprechen stets von Sport. And talk all the time about sports. Und dächte stets: Das ist Herrn Nußbaums And would think all the time: That’s Mr.
Und einmal treten sie, im Pelz, Then all at once they are walking about in furs, Braut! Nußbaum’s bride!
Sogar vor’s Tor der Grandhotels Even at the entrance to the Grand Hotels Man spürte ihre Hände auf der Haut. One feels her hands on one’s skin.
Und fahren wieder fort. And then again they leave. Das Herz im Leibe schlüge hart und laut, The heart in love beats loudly in the chest,
Und fahren wieder fort. And then again they leave. Als schlügen nachts im Elternhaus die As the doors beat at the parents’ house.
Türen. Once again, one must eat red pudding,
6 Der Song “man müßte wieder . . .” The Song “Once Again One Must . . .” Man müßte wieder roten Pudding essen And go to sleep at night without cares.
Und schliefe abends ohne Sorgen ein. Once again, one must be sixteen years old.
1. Man müßte wieder durch den Stadtpark 1. Once again, one must run through the city Man müßte wieder sechzehn Jahre sein And forget everything that happened since
laufen park Und alles, was seitdem geschah, vergessen. that time.
Mit einem Mädchen, das nach Hause muß With a girl who needs to get home
Und küssen will und Angst hat vor dem Kuß. And whom one wants to kiss but is scared
Man müßte ihr und sich vor Ladenschluß of kissing. II – THE EXILED LANGUAGE – Yiddish Songs for Stage and Screen
Um zwei Mark fünfzig ein paar Ringe kaufen. Before the shops close one must buy 7 Moses Milner: In Cheider In the Cheder American adaptation by Stewart Figa
Man müßte wieder nachts am Fenster stehn A pair of rings for two Marks fifty, one for her
Und auf die Stimmen der Passanten hören, and one for you. Kum aher, yingele nehenter tzu mir, Come here, child, closer to me
Wenn sie den leisen Schlaf der Straßen Once again, one must stand at night at the Un tu a kuk in di kleine oiselakh. And take a look at these little letters,
stören. window Teiere oiselakh, gilderne oiselakh, These precious, golden letters.
Man müßte sich, wenn einer lügt, empören. And hear the voices of the passersby, Gikher, gikher kum aher. Quickly, quickly, come over here.
Und ihm fünf Tage aus dem Wege gehn. As they disturb the light sleep of the streets. Hob kein moire nit; shrek zikh nit. Don’t worry; don’t be afraid.
Man müßte wieder seltne Blumen pressen One must get angry when someone lies, Ot azoy, zetz zikh avek un her ois mit kop. That’s right, sit yourself down and pay attention.
Und auf dem Schulweg ohne Sorgen schrein. And avoid him for five days. Zetz zikh, ot azoy her zikh tzu. Ready? Now listen:
Man müßte wieder sechzehn Jahre sein Once again, one must press unusual flowers, Kometz alef O (The vowel) Kometz (with the letter) Alef
Und alles, was seitdem geschah, vergessen. And shout into the gates while walking to Kometz beis BO (sounds) O
school. Kometz gimel GO Kometz Beis BO
Once again, one must be sixteen years old. Kometz daled DO. Kometz Gimel GO
And forget everything that happened since Kometz Daled DO
that time.
Pasach alef A Pasach Alef A
2. Man würde wieder seiner Mutter schmei- 2. Once again, one would like to snuggle with Pasach beis BA Pasach Beis BA
cheln, one’s mother, Pasach gimel GA Pasach Gimel GA
Weil man zum Jahrmarkt ein paar Groschen Because one needs a few Groschen for the Pasach daled DA Pasach Daled DA
braucht. yearly fair.
Man sähe dann den Mann, der lange taucht, There, one sees the man who stays under Ot azoy yingele ot azoy darf men lernen This is how, my dear child, you must learn.
Und einen Affen, der Zigarren raucht, water for a long time, yingele, oi vey teier yingele. Take a look in the prayerbook and repeat:
Und ließe sich von Riesendamen streicheln. And a monkey who smokes cigars, Tu a kuk in sider un sog nuch amol.
42 And lets himself be petted by the giant woman. 43
Kometz alef O . . . Kometz Alef O . . . Kh’far nisht oyf markn vi yeneh proste yatn, I don’t work markets, like any common criminal;
Kh’tzup nor bay kargeh shmutzikeh mag- I filch from business magnates, stinking rich
Hecher shtarker, o bo, ot azoy darf men Louder! Stronger! This is the way to learn. naten and venal.
lernen yingele. a ba ga da That’s it! With spirit, livelier! Kh’bin zich mekhaye ven kh’tup aza mag- It’s such a pleasure to steal from one of these!
Hekher, shtarker, ot azoy darf men lernen This is the way to learn Torah. Torah is the nat I am Avreml, a fine young man, indeed.
yingele. a ba ga da real deal! Ikh bin Avreml gor a voyle yat.
Ot azoy, freilicher, lebediger, genarnick, Now be a good boy, don’t be silly… Ah, 2. Out in the world, without enough to live on,
Ot azoy yingele darf men lernen toire. silly boy. 2. In der fremd nisht gehat tzum laybn, I begged for bread; a poor man used to give
Toire is di beste schoire. That’s enough… Close your book; you Gebetn broyt, an oremer flegt noch geben. some.
Volst geven a teier yingele zolst nit zayn may go. Nor yeneh layt, vus zennen tumid zat. But those who had enough to eat
kein genarnik. Flegn oft traybn mikh mit tzurn Would drive me off with hate and scorn.
Ai bist du a genarnik yingele genug shoyn S’vakst a ganev, s’iz mekuyem gevorn So, this is how a thief is born!
farmakh dem sider bist frei. A ganev bin ikh, nor a voyler yat. Thief I am, but a fine young man, indeed.
Gedenk mein kind a yid darf lernen toire Remember my child a Jew must learn Refrain Refrain
azoy zogt uns der heiliger boire. Torah.
As men vet dikh fregn vos host du geton So our holy creator tells us. Ikh bin Avreml, der feykster marvikher, I am Avreml, the most gifted pickpocket,
in cheider, If they ask you What did you do in cheider? A groyser kintsler, kh’arbet leicht un zicher, A brilliant artist, my work is light and sure.
Zolst du zogen host gelernt toire; You should say that you learned Torah. . . . A yat a kleyner arine in kutchament While still a kid, off to jail I went,
Gedenk toire nokh amol: Toire toire toire Remember, Torah. Aroys a mazik, a zeltener talent, oy, oy. Out came a wizard, a singular talent, oy, oy!
toire toire toire. Kh’far nisht oyf markn vi yeneh proste yatn, I don’t work markets, like any common
Kh’tzup nor bay kargeh shmutzikeh mag- criminal;
8 Mordechai Gebirtig: Abe, the Pickpocket naten I filch from business magnates, stinking rich
Avreml, der Marvikher Kh’hub lib a mentchen a mildn, a nashbrat. and venal.
1. Homeless I’ve been since I was quite young; Ikh bin avremel gor a voyler yat. I like good people, gentle company;
1. Un a heym bin ikh yung geblibn It was hunger that drove me away from I am Avreml, a fine young man, indeed.
S’hot a noyt mikh aroysgetribn my home.
Ven ikh hob noch kein draytzn yor gehat. When I’d scarcely reached the age of thirteen, 3. Shoyn nisht lang vet dos shpiel gedoyern, 3. But this game can’t go on much longer,
In der fremd vayt fun mameh’s oygn Out in the world, far from mother’s eyes, Krank fun klep gift fun tfiseh-moyern, Prison life has left me sick and crippled;
Hot in shmutz mikh di gas dertzoygn. Brought up in dark, dirty alleyways, Nor ein b’koshe kh’volt azoy gevolt. One last request, if I might be so bold:
Gevorn iz fun mir a voyler yat. I became a fine young man, indeed. Nokh mayn toyt, in a tog getriben When I die, on that gloomy day,
Zol oyfn mayn matzeyveh shtayn geshribn Let the writing on my monument say,
Refrain Refrain Mit oyses groyse un fun gold: In enormous letters, fashioned of gold:
Ikh bin Avreml, der feykster marvikher, I am Avreml, the most gifted pickpocket; Refrain Refrain
A groyser kintsler, kh’arbet leicht un zicher, A brilliant artist, my work is light and sure.
Dus ershteh mol kh’vel’s gedenken bizn toyt The first time I was jailed, as I remember it, Do ligt Avreml, der feykster marvikher Here lies Avreml, the most gifted pick-
Arein in tfiseh far lak’khenen a broyt. Oy, oy. Came about because I’d swiped some bread, A mentch a groyser geven volt fun im pocket,
oy, oy! zicher. A great man, he’d most certainly have been;
44
A mentch a feiner mit hartz, mit a gefil. A kind man, with sympathetic heart, 45
A mentch a reiner, vi got aleyn nor vil, oy, A righteous man, who always did God’s work, III – TRANSFORMATION OF TRADITION
oy. oy, oy!
Ven iber im volt gevacht a mame’s oygn, If only a mother’s eyes had watched him, Hanns Eisler: From Zeitungsausschnitte Hanns Eisler: From Newspaper Clippings
Ven s’volt di finstereh gas im nisht dertzoygn, If only the dark alleys hadn’t raised him,
Ven noch als kind er a tateh volt gehat, If he’d only had a father as a child. bk Mariechen Little Marie
Do ligt Avreml, yener voyler yat. There lies Avreml, a fine young man, indeed.
Mariechen, du dummes, dummes Viehchen! Little Marie, you stupid little critter!
Ich reiße dir ein Beinchen aus, If I tear away one of your legs,
9 Abraham Ellstein: Tif vi di Nacht Deep as the Night
Music and text by Abraham Ellstein American adaptation by Stewart Figa
dann mußt du hinken auf deinem Schinken, Then you’ll have to limp on your thigh,
dann mußt du hinken. Then you’ll have to limp.
Tif vi di nakht iz mayn libe tsu dir gelibte Deep as the night is my love for you my
mayn. sweetheart. Dann kommst du ins städtische Krankenhaus, Then you’ll be admitted to the city hospital,
Tsu zayn mit dir, dos iz alts vos ikh bager. To be with you is all I desire. da wirst du operiert, Where you’ll be operated on,
Ikh zits un trakht tsu dos glik vet mit undz I sit and ponder on the happiness that will mit Schmierseif’ eingeschmiert, Rubbed down with creamy soap,
oyf eybik zayn; be ours forever;
mit Schmierseif’ eingeschmiert. Rubbed down with creamy soap.
Farlir ikh dikh, hot dos lebn gor kayn vert. If I lost you, how worthless my life would be.
Vi di zun un di levone, vi di shtern vos Like the Sun and the Moon, like the stars Dann kommt der deutsche Männerchor, Then the German men’s chorus will arrive
balaykht di nakht. which illumine the night, der singt dir ein schönes Liedchen vor. To sing you a pretty song.
Azoy sheyn iz mayn matone nor fun himl You are a beautiful gift sent to me by God Mariechen! Du dummes, dummes Viehchen! Little Marie, you stupid little critter!
hot dos Got tsu mir gebrakht, alone from heaven.
Meg alts geshen, meg afile yetst di velt Come what may, let the world collapse, bl Kriegslied eines Kindes A Child’s Song of War
unter geyn, My love for you will forever be deep as the
Mayn libe vet, eyvik zayn, tif vi di nakht. night. Meine Mutter wird Soldat, My mother is becoming a soldier
da zieht sie Hosen an mit roten Quasten dran. So she puts on pants adorned with red tassles.
Ikh zits un trakht tsu dos glik vet mit undz I sit and ponder on the happiness that will
Trara tschindra, meine Mutter wird Soldat. Tralala, my mother is becoming a soldier.
oyf eybik zayn; be ours forever;
Farlir ikh dikh, hot dos lebn gor kayn vert. If I lost you, how worthless my life would be.
Da bekommt sie einen Rock an She’ll put on a jacket
Vi di zun un di levone, vi di shtern vos Like the Sun and the Moon, like the stars mit blanken Knöpfen dran, With shiny buttons on it,
balaykht di nakht. which illumine the night, da bekommt sie Stiefel an She’ll put on boots
Azoy sheyn iz mayn matone nor fun himl You are a beautiful gift sent to me by God mit langen Schaften dran, That reach up to her knees,
hot dos Got tsu mir gebrakht, alone from heaven. da bekommt sie einen Helm auf She’ll put on a helmet
Meg alts geshen, meg afile yetst di velt Come what may, let the world collapse, mit Kaiser Wilhelm drauf. That’s got Kaiser Wilhelm on it.
unter geyn, My love for you will forever be deep as the Trara tschindra, meine Mutter wird Soldat. Tarara, my mother is becoming a soldier.
Mayn libe vet, eyvik zayn, tif vi di nakht. night.
46 47
Dann kriegt sie gleich ein Schießgewehr, Then she’ll get a rifle right away, 3. Antwort auf Fragen wollen alle dir geben. 3. Everyone wants to give you answers to
da schießt sie hin und her, So she can shoot every which way, Du mußt es tragen: ungesichertes Leben. questions.
dann kommt sie in den Schützengrab’n, Then she’ll jump in the trenches, Kreuz und rasselnder Ruhm. Nicht mehr. You must accept: it’s an uncertain time.
da fressen sie die schwarzen Rab’n, Where they’re eating black ravens, Befreiendes Menschentum. Noch nicht. Crosses and noisy fame. No more.
meine Mutter wird Soldat. My mother is becoming a soldier. Noch ist es nicht so weit, noch ist es nicht Emancipated Humanity. Not yet.
so weit. We’re not that far yet, not that far yet.
Dann kommt sie ins Lazarett, She’ll then arrive at the field hospital,
da kommt sie ins Himmelbett, Where a lovely four-poster bed (heaven) Refrain Refrain
trara tschindra, meine Mutter wird Soldat. awaits her,
Tarara, my mother is becoming a soldier. bn Bügerliche Wohltätigkeit Civic Charity

IV – THE POETICS OF EXILE: Songs by Hanns Eisler and Kurt Tucholsky (1890–1935) 1. Sieh! Da steht das Erholungsheim 1. See! There’s a rehabilitation clinic
Einer Aktiengesellschaftsgruppe; For a stock corporation.
bm Heute zwischen Gestern und Morgen Today between Yesterday and Tomorrow Morgens gibt es Haferschleim In the morning they have a bowl of por-
Und abends Gerstensuppe. ridge
1. Wie Gestern und Morgen sich mächtig ver- 1. How yesterday and tomorrow so powerfully Und die Arbeiter dürfen auch in den Park. And in the evening vegetable soup.
mischen! blur together! Gut, das ist der Pfennig und wo ist die Mark And the workers can also go walking in
Hier ein Stuhl . . . da ein Stuhl und wir immer Here a stool . . . there a stool, and we always the park.
dazwischen! fall between them! Good, that’s the penny, but where is the
Liebliche Veilchen im März, nicht mehr. Lovely violets in March no more. dollar?
Proletarier Staat mit Herz, noch nicht. A proletarian country with heart, not yet. 2. Sie reichen euch manches Almosen
Noch ist es nicht so weit, noch ist es nicht We’re not that far yet, not that far yet. Unter christlichen frommen Gebeten; 2. They give alms to many
so weit. Sie pflegen die leidende Wöchnerin Under the name of Christian prayers;
Denn sie brauchen ja die Proleten. They care for the suffering temp working
Refrain Refrain Sie liefern auch einen Armensarg. women.
Gut, das ist der Pfennig und wo ist die Mark For they need proletarians for themselves.
Denn wir leben, denn wir leben in einer For we’re living, we’re living, in a time of They provide a coffin for a pauper.
Übergangszeit! transition! Good, that’s the penny, but where is the
3. Die Mark ist tausend und tausendfach dollar?
2. Geplapertes ABC bei den alten Semestern. 2. Prattling away with ABCs in past semesters. In fremde Taschen geflossen,
Fraternité, Liberté – ist das von gestern? Brotherhood, freedom – is that from yes- Die Dividende hat mit viel Krach 3. A thousand Marks flow a thousand times
Festgefügtes Gebot? Nicht mehr. terday? Der Aufsichtsrat beschlossen. Into the pockets of the poor,
Flattert die Fahne rot? Noch nicht. Firm commands? No more. Für euch die Brühe, für sie das Mark, The profits closed many advisory offices
Noch ist es nicht so weit, noch ist es nicht Does the flag wave red? Not yet. Für euch der Pfennig, für sie die Mark. With a great deal of noise.
so weit. We’re not that far yet, not that far yet. For you there is broth, for them the pulp,
For you the penny, for them the Mark.
Refrain Refrain
48 49
4. Proleten, fallt nich auf den Schwindel rein! 4. Proletarians, don’t fall for the scam! 3. Es hilft euch nichts. 3. It does not help you at all.
Sie schulden euch mehr als sie gehen. They create more debts than they give. Geht ihr zu Grunde: man braucht euch nicht. Come to the crux of the matter: No one
Sie schulden euch alles! They put you in debt for everything! Kein Platz bleibt leer. needs you.
Die Länderein, die Bergwerke und die The factories used for agriculture, mining, Ihr winselt wie die feigen Hunde schiebt ab! There is no place remaining empty.
Wollfärberein, and wool-dying. Euch gibt es gar nicht mehr! You whine like the cowardly dog with his tail
Sie schulden euch Glück und Leben. They make you guilty for happiness and life. Wir andern aber wirken weit in die Zeit! between his legs!
Nimm, was du kriegst! Take what you receive! In die Zeit! In die Zeit, in die Zeit, in die Zeit! You don’t even exist anymore!
Aber pfeif auf den Quark. But abandon the cottage cheese. The rest of us are in control of this moment!
Denk an deine Klasse! Think about your class! Of this moment! Of this moment, of this
Und die macht Stark! And it will make you strong! moment, of this moment!
Für dich der Pfennig! Für dich die Mark! For you the penny! For you the Mark!
Kämpfe! Fight on! bp An den deutschen Mond To the German Moon

bo Zuckerbrot und Peitsche Sweetbread and Whips 1. Guter Mond, du gehst so stille durch die 1. Dear moon, you move so quietly through
Abendwolken hin! the evening clouds!
1. Nun senkt sich auf die Fluren nieder der süße 1. The sweet kitsch with sugar-eggs falls now Siehst die lange Äppelzille und die You see the long Äppelzille and the Venus
Kitsch mit Zucker Ei. into the halls. Venuspriesterin. Priestess.
Nun kommen alle, alle wieder: Now, they are all coming back: Siehst Passanten und die Bummler You see the passersby and the strollers,
Mit Franz Lehár und Holz-Schalmei . . . With Franz Lehár and wooden shawms . . . Und die bösen Geldscheinschummler . . . And the nasty money exchangers . . .
Sie wollen sich mit Kunst betäuben, They want to deafen themselves with art, Bist das alles schon gewohnt, guter Mond! You are accustomed to that, dear moon!
Sie wollen nur noch Märchen sehn; They only want to see fairy tales any more;
Sie wollen ihre Welt zerstäuben They want to turn their world into dust 2. Segelst langsam ob den Dächern, 2. Slowly across the rooftops,
Und neben der Epoche gehn. And move against the grain of the times. Siehst in Fenster der Büros, You see into the office windows,
Das Bürgertum erliegt der Wucht: The citizenry gives up its guard: Wo die Akten in den Fächern flüstern: Where the files whisper in the cabinets:
Flucht, Flucht, Flucht. Flight, flight, flight. „Wir sind Justav Nosken los! We were taken from Gustav Nosken!
2. So dichtet, Dichter: vom Atlantik, von Rittern 2. The poets write poems about the Atlantic, Siehst in Fenster der Kasernen, You see into the windows of the barracks,
und Liebesnacht! princes, and nights of love! Wo sie Schwarz-Rot-Gold entfernen . . . There where Black, Gold, and Red separate . . .
Her, blaue Blume der Romantik! From the blue flowers of the Romantics! Bist das alles schon gewohnt, guter Mond! You are accustomed to that, dear moon!
„Er löste ihr die Brünne sacht . . . He gave to her the fountains of . . .
Wie ihr euch durch Musik entblößtet! How you expose yourselves through music! 3. Aber käme plötzlich einmal einer, 3. But then one individual arrived suddenly,
In eurer Kunst ist keine Faust. There is no fist in your art. Der trotz Lärmen, Drohen und Gezisch Who, despite the noise, threats, and hissing,
So habt ihr euch noch stets getröstet, You have always made yourselves feel good, Schlüge – wie noch bisher leider keiner — Pounds his fist on our green table —
Wenn über euch die Peitsche saust. When the whip is threatening over you. Mit der Faust auf unsern grünen Tisch — Like no one had before him —
Ihr wollt zu höhern Harmonien You wanted to escape to higher harmonies, Sagt der: „Militär kann gehen! He says: The army can be dismissed!
Fliehn, fliehn, fliehn. Escape, escape, escape. Ei, dann bliebst du sicher stehen! Oh, and then you’ll stay safe!
Denn das bist du nicht gewohnt, guter For you are not accustomed to that, dear
Mond! moon!
50 51
bq Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit Unity and Justice and Freedom br Couplet für die Bier-Abteilung Couplet for the Beer Department

1. Was die Freiheit ist bei den Germanen, 1. Whatever freedom means for the Germanic 1. In den Berliner Straßen da siehst du heut’, 1. My child, today you see everywhere in the
Die bleibt meistens schwer inkognito. tribes mein Kind, Berlin streets
Manche sind die ewigen Untertanen, Remains completely incognito. Wie über alle Maßen besetzt die Autos sind. Just how many packed cars are driving all
Möchten gern und können bloß nicht so. Many are the oppressed, Der Chef mit Prokuristen, Agenten und over the place.
Denn schon hundert Jahr trifft dich immer- Who gladly want it, but just have no pos- Juristen The boss complains to the buyers, agents,
dar sibility. Sie quetschen sich zwecks Billigkeit eng and lawyers
Ein geduldiger Schafsblick durch die Brillen. Because already for a hundred years one aneinander an: To make sure that they keep the goal of
Doof ist doof. Da helfen keine Pillen. takes Acht Mann in einem Auto, ein Auto und acht cheapness in sight:
A patient sheepish glance through the Mann. Eight men in a car, a car and eight men.
glasses.
Stupid is stupid, and pills don’t help. 2. Emilie, süßes Töpfchen der Suppe meiner 2. Emily, you sweet cup for the soup of my
Lust: passion:
2. Was Justitia ist bei den Teutonen, 2. Whatever [Roman] justice is for the Teutons, Ich lege gern mein Köpfchen an deine linke I gladly lay my little head on your left
Die hat eine Binde obenrum. She has a band wrapped around it. Brust. breast.
Doch sie tut die Binde gerne schonen, Still, she would gladly spare the band. Du schwörst, ich sei alleine. You swear that I’m the only one.
Und da bindt sie sie nicht immer um. So she would not always have to bind her- Ich glaub es gern, du Kleine! I gladly believe you, little one!
Unten winseln die wie das liebe Vieh. self in such a way. Denn kämen alle, die du liebst: Then, if all came whom you love:
Manche glauben noch an guten Willen. Those below whine like dear cattle. Dann rückten da heran: Then they would line up:
Doof ist doof. Da helfen keine Pillen. Many still believe in good will. Acht Mann in einem Auto, ein Auto und Eight men in a car, a car and eight men!
Stupid is stupid, and pills don’t help. acht Mann!

3. Was die Eingkeit ist bei den Hiesigen, 3. Whatever unity means for people today 3. Wenn diese Republike den Zimt so weit- 3. When this republic raises interest rates as
Die ist vierundzwanzigfach verteilt. Is split into twenty-four parts. ermacht, it has,
Für die Länder hat man einen riesigen For the provinces there is no giant machine Wird eines Tags sie stike von hinten umge- Everything holding it together will be killed.
Schreibeapparat gefeilt: for writing. bracht. Geßler’s Imperial Guard trains the monar-
Hamburg schießt beinah sich mit Altona; Hamburg and Altona shoot at each other; Herrn Geßlers Reichsgardisten erziehn dann chists.
Bayern zeigt sich barsch, schreit: Leckt mich Bavaria acts rudely and shouts: Kiss my . . Monarchisten. One can editorialize a bit, but most will
am . . . [Arsch] . [ass] Man wird ein bißchen schreiben – die remain.
Eine Republike wider Willen. A republic against will. meisten werden bleiben. The rest of them, going to the gate behind
Deutsch ist deutsch. Da helfen keine Pillen. German is German, and pills don’t help. Der Rest, der fährt zum Tor hinaus mit the Black, Red, and Gold.
Schwarz-Rot-Gold voran. The men will be led: A lieutenant and ten
Es wird die Herrn begleiten: Ein Leutnant men!
und zehn Mann!

52 53
V – TRAUMAS OF INNER EXILE bt Margaritkele Little Margaret

Viktor Ullmann, Three Yiddish Songs (Březulinka), op. 53 (1944) 1. In veld’l, baym taykh’l, dort zaynen gevaks’n 1. By a pond in the forest, little
Margaritkele el’nt und kleyn – Margaret grew up, poor and small –
bs Berjoskele vi kleyninke zunen mit vaysinke shtrain, How small and glowing in white,
The Little Birch
(transliteration following Jaldati and Robling 1984: 251–52, mit vaysinke tra-la-la-la! In white, tra-la-la-la!
after Menachem Kipnis, Folkslider, Warsaw, n.d.)
2. Gegangen iz Khavele shtil un farkholement, 2. Little Chavele looks quietly away,
1. Ruik, ruik shokelt ir geloktes grines kep’l 1. Peacefully, peacefully rock your little tseloz’n di gold-blonde tsep; Entranced by the golden, blonde hair;
mayn vaysinke Beryozkele un davent on green-braided cap, dos heldz’l antbloyzt un gemurm’lt, gezun- Uttering a few words, singing
a shir; My little white birch, who prays without gen A little song – tra-la-la-la!
yedes, yedes, bletele irs sheptchet shtil a peace. a lidele – tra-la-la-la!
t’file Each little leaf quietly makes a wish,
zy shoin, klein Beryozkele, mispalel euch Dear little birch, accept my prayer among 3. Di zun iz fargang’n der bokher farshvund’n, 3. The sun has set, the boy disappeared,
fa mir. these. un Khavele zits nokh in vald. And Chavele remains in the forest.
Zi kukt in der vayt un murml’t farkholemt She gazes in the distance and quietly
2. Fun vayt’n mayrev hot zikh troyerik far- 2. From faraway in the west a gentle red dos lidele: tra-la-la-la . . . Sings the little song: tra-la-la-la . . .
ganvet glow
in di dine tzvaygelekh a rozer tsarter shtral; Has begun sadly to find its way into your
un a shtil’n kush getun di bletelekh di narrow branches. ck Ich bin a Maydl in di Yorn I’m Already a Young Woman
klayne, It quietly kisses all the soft, tiny leaves,
velkhe hob’n dremlendik gehorkht dem Dreamily, they listened to the nightingale’s 1. Ikh bin shoyn a Meyd’l in di yorn, 1. I’m already a young woman,
nakhtigal. song. vos hostu mir mayn kopf fardreyt? Why did you turn my head so?
Ikh volt shoyn lang a kale gevor’n For a long time I’ve wanted to marry
un efsher take kasene gehat. And find me a fine husband.
3. Fun di vayte feilder iz vintele gekumen 3. A wind blew here across the wide fields,
un dertsaylt di gletlekh legends on a shir, Surely it told the leaves many stories.
2. Du host mir tsugezogt mikh namen, 2. You promised to take me with you,
epes hot in harts’n tif bay mir genumen Longing begins to arise, deep from within
ikh hob oyf dir lang shoyn gevart; I’ve waited for you a long time;
benk’n the heart,
far vos zolstu, dushenyu, mikh farshemen Why should you be ashamed, dear,
zay shoyn, kleyn Beryozkele, mispalel oykh Dear little birch tree, please pray also for
tsi hostu dikh in mir genart? That you’re crazy about me?
far mir. me.

54 55
VI – NOSTALGIA AND EXILE Streu’s auf einen Graham Brot, Spread it on a graham cracker
Kreuz über Quer, Nice and thick,
cl Georg Kreisler: Tauben vergiften Poisoning Pigeons Und nimm’s Scherzl And choose a cute one
Das fressen’s so gern. That’ll gobble it up.
1. Schatz, das Wetter ist wunderschön, 1. Sweetheart, the weather is so gorgeous,
Da leid ich’s nicht länger zu Haus. I can’t stand it inside much longer. Erst verjag’n First, let’s chase
Heute muß man ins Grüne gehn, Today, I have to go outside, Wir die Spatzen, Around the sparrows,
In den bunten Frühling hinaus. To enjoy the colorful spring. Denn die tun ei’m For they’re the ones
Alles verpatzen, That make such a mess.
Jeder Bursch und sein Mäderl Every guy and every gal
Mit einem Freßpaketerl, With their picnic lunch So ein Spatz ist zu geschwind, A sparrow is too swift
Sitzen heute im grünen Klee. Is sitting today in green clover. Der frißt’s Gift im nu, It’ll eat the poison in a second,
Schatz, ich hab eine Idee. Dear, I’ve got an idea. Und das arme Tauberl While the poor pigeon
Schaut zu. Just looks on.
Schau die Sonne ist warm, Look, the sun is warm
Und Lüfte sind lau, And the breezes are balmy, Ja, der Frühling, der Frühling, Ah, the spring, the spring,
Geh’n wir Tauben vergiften So let’s go and poison Der Frühling ist hier. Spring is here.
Im Park. The pigeons in the park. Geh’n wir Tauben vergiften So let’s go and poison
Im Park. The pigeons in the park.
Die Bäume sind grün, The trees are green,
Und der Himmel ist blau. And the sky is blue. Kann’s geben im Leben, Could there be
Geh’n wir Tauben vergiften So let’s go and poison Ein größ’res Pläsir, A greater pleasure in life
Im Park. The pigeons in the park. Als das Tauben vergiften Than poisoning
Im Park? The pigeons in the park?
Wir sitzen zusamm’ We’re sitting together
In der Laube, In the arbor, Der Hansel geht gern Little Hans walks
Und a jeder vergiftet And each one of us poisons Mit der Mali, Hand in hand with Mali,
A Taube. A pigeon. Denn die Mali, die zählt’s For it’s Mali
Zyankali. Who’s got the cyanide.
Der Frühling, der dringt, The spring soaks
Bis ins innerste Mark, Into our very being, Die Herzen sind schwach, Hearts may be weak,
Beim Tauben vergiften When we poison Und die Liebe ist stark, But the love is so strong
Im Park The pigeons in the park. Beim Tauben vergiften When we poison
Im Park. The pigeons in the park.
2. Schatz, geh, bring das Arsen 2. Sweetheart, bring the arsenic Nimm für uns, was zum naschen, In the other pocket
G’schwind her. As quickly as you can. In der anderen Taschen. Put something so we can nash.
Das tut sich That’s the best way Geh’n wir Tauben vergiften Let’s go and poison
Am besten bewährn. To prove one’s worth. Im Park. The pigeons in the park.

56 57
cm Ich bin ein unverbesserlicher Optimist I’m an Irrepressible Optimist

1. Mieß ist jedem am Vormittag, 1. Everyone is miserable in the morning,


Mieß ist jedem am Nachmittag, Everyone is miserable in the afternoon,
Jeder jammert: so arg war’s nie, wie heuer, Everyone complains that it’s never been
Kaum verdient man am Vormittag eine worse than this year,
Kleinigkeit, One hardly earns anything in the morning, 2. Schaun Sie doch nicht so traurig drein, 2. Don’t look so down and out,
Nachmittag kommt und schnappt es schon only a pittance, Jeder Mensch kann nicht ledig sein! Not everyone can be single!
einer von der Steuer. In the afternoon, it all goes straightaway Kaufen Sie sich ein Buch von van der Velde! Just buy a book from van der Velde!
into taxes. Lesen Sie es auf Seite neun, Ihre Frau wird Read what’s written on page nine,
Wenn auch jedender Mut verläßt, sich auch sehr freu’n, Your wife will be happy too,
Ich behaupte doch steif und fest, If everyone else loses courage, Ihre Ehe wird vollkommen in Bälde! If your marriage falls apart!
Arbeit muß von Erfolg einmal gekrönt sein! I nevertheless keep a stiff upper lip, Hat trotz Sonne und Körpersport Enjoy some sun and physical exertion
Nur schön fleißig sein und schön sparn Hard work eventually reaps its rewards! Und was sonst noch verordnet dort, And whatever else is good for you,
So wie ich und in drei, vier Jahrn If everyone would work hard and save like me, Immer noch ihre Frau dieselben Launen, So your wife will be in a good mood,
Werden Sie an den Dalles schon gewöhnt Then they’d be used to poverty in three or Wechseln Sie erst den Hausfreund aus, Get rid of your housemate,
sein! four years! Schmeißen Sie dann die Frau hinaus And throw your wife out as well,
Und ich sag Ihnen nur: Sie werden staunen! And let me tell you it’ll be just amazing!
Refrain Refrain Refrain Refrain
Ich bin ein unverbesserlicher Optimist, I’m an irreconcilable optimist,
Ein Optimist, ein Optimist. An optimist, an optimist.
Man muß das Leben eben nehmen, wie We have to accept life as it is,
es ist, As an optimist, an optimist.
Als Optimist, als Optimist. I smile when the rooster crows and also
Ich lache, wenn die Hähne krähn und auch when he goes to sleep,
beim Schlafen gehn, The world is still so marvelous!
Die Welt ist doch so schön! I’m an irreconcilable optimist,
Ich bin ein unverbesserlicher Optimist, Because I have to commit hari-kari.
Weil ich sonst Harakiri Harakiri,
Harakiri, Harakiri, Harakiri machen müßt.

58 59
cn Heute Nacht oder nie Tonight or Never VII – EXILE IN REPRISE
Friedrich Holländer on Stage and Film
Heute Nacht oder nie sollst du mir sagen Tonight or never, you should tell
Nur das Eine: Ob du mich liebst! But one thing: If you love me! co Friedrich Holländer: Marianka
Heute Nacht oder nie will ich dich fragen, Tonight or never, I want to ask you,
Ob du deine Liebe mir gibst? Will you give your love to me? 1. Wollt ihr wissen meinen Namen, Marianka, 1. Do you want to know my name, Marianka,
Heute Nacht oder nie will ich für dich Tonight or never, I’ll sing Marianka! Marianka!
Allein nur singen bis morgen früh. Alone for you until the break of day. Ju und Janos zu mir kamen, Marianka, Juno and Janus came to me, Marianka,
Nur die Melodie: Only that melody: Marianka! Marianka!
Heute Nacht oder nie. Tonight or never. Hey! Ich tanzte! Hoy! Ich liebte! Marianka, Hey! I’ve danced! Hey! I’ve loved! Marianka,
Marianka! Marianka!
Seit ich dich einmal gesehn, Since the time I first saw you, Bis mein Herz in Strahlen stiebte, Marianka, Till my heart explodes in sparks, Marianka,
Ist’s um die Ruhe geschehn. I’ve felt at peace with myself. Marianka! Marianka!
Ich denk’ an dich, an dich allein, I think about you, only about you,
Denk’ ich bei Tag und Nacht! I’m thinking day and night! 2. Feine Herren sind gekommen, . . . 2. Fine gentlemen have come, . . .
Seit ich dich einmal gesehn, Since the time I first saw you, Mancher hat mich mitgenommen, . . . Many of them escorted me, . . .
Kann ich die nicht widerstehn, I just can’t resist it, Doch bei keinem konnt ich bleiben, . . . Still, I couldn’t stay with any of them, . . .
Ich weiß es gewiß, daß diese Nacht I’m so certain, that this night Muß wie Spreu im Winde treiben! . . . I was blown away like chaff by the wind! . . .
Uns beide glücklich macht! Will make us both happy!
3. Ach ich liebe alles Wilde, . . . 3. How I love everything that’s wild, . . .
Heute Nacht oder nie sollst du mir sagen Tonight or never, you should tell Führe Böses gern im Schilde, . . . I don’t mind being a little bit naughty, . . .
Nur das Eine: Ob du mich liebst! But one thing: If you love me! Wer mich liebt muß alles wagen, . . . Anyone who loves me must risk it all, . . .
Heute Nacht oder nie will ich dich fragen, Tonight or never, I want to ask you, Janos hat den Ju erschlagen! . . . Janos knocked off Juno! . . .
Ob du deine Liebe mir gibst? Will you give your love to me?
Heute Nacht oder nie will ich für dich Tonight or never, I’ll sing 4. Wenn ich einst ein Kind werd’ haben, . . . 4. If once I should have a child, . . .
Allein nur singen bis morgen früh. Alone for you until the break of day. Sollt ihr lebend mich begraben, . . . You should bury me alive, . . .
Nur die Melodie: Only that melody: Denn mein Blut wird Früchte tragen, . . . For my blood bears fruit, . . .
Heute Nacht oder nie. Tonight or never. Denn mein Herz wird ewig schlagen, For my heart will be forever, Marianka,
Marianka, Marianka! Marianka!

60 61
cp Wenn der Mond, wenn der Mond . . . If the Moon, If the Moon . . . 2. Es schnarcht der Detektiv. Die Hähne 2. The detective snores away. The roosters crow.
Music by Friedrich Holländer schrei’n. And the night is late and chilly!
Text by Theobald Tiger (Kurt Tucholsky) Und die Nacht ist tief und kalt! A petty thief broke in at the Meiers,
Klamottenede bricht bei Meiers ein, Listen how the safe creaks!
1. Es zittert dumpf zwölfmal der Turmuhr Klang, 1. Silently, the belltower tolls twelve times. Horch! Der dicke Geldschrank knallt! The flashlight was on him, and our thief
Der pfeift, die Nebel weh’n! The wind whistles, and the fog envelops all! Die Blendlaterne blinkt, Herr Ede schwitzt, broke out in sweat,
Das Auto saust im Hui die Straßen lang, The car speeds along the streets, Bis ihm die Mütze tief im Nakken sitzt! Until his cap sank down to his neck!
Aber nur für Taxe zehn! Which are meant only for taxis after ten! Nanu! Nanu! Ist das ein Erzfilou! Oy vey! Oy vey! Is that the big-bad thief!
Josef liebte seine Potiphar! Joseph loved his Potiphar! Da liegt ein Zettel: „Sie! Ich hab’ es bereits! There lies a note: “I’ve already got it!
Chauffeur! So fahren Sie in eine Bar! Chauffeur, drive us to a little bar! Mein ganzes Geld seit gestern in der Since yesterday all my money was in
Nanu! Nanu! Da ist schon alles zu! Oy vey! Oy vey! For everything’s closed! Schweiz! Switzerland!
Das kann nicht sein, das ist doch gar zu How’s that possible? It’d be so dumb!
dumm! My children, I’ll just drive you round and Refrain Refrain
Na Kinder, geh’n wir einfach hintenrum! round!

Refrain Refrain

Wenn der Mond, wenn der Mond, wenn der If the moon, if the moon, if the moon shines
Mond scheint schön, bright,
Dann geh ich rauf und runter. Then I’ll go round and round.
Wenn der Mond scheint schön, If the moon shines bright, then I’ll finally be
Werd’ ich erst richtig munter! awake.
Der Schatten liegt auf Mann und Frau The shadows will fall on man and woman,
Ganz dunkel blau, ganz dunkel blau! And all will be cast in darkest blue, darkest
Wenn der Mond, wenn der Mond, wenn der blue!
Mond, If the moon, if the moon, if the moon,
Wenn der Mond vom Himmel lacht, If the moon laughs from up above,
Bei der Nacht, bei der Nacht, bei der Nacht! In the night, in the night, in the night!

Refrain Refrain

62 63
ALSO WITH THE NEW BUDAPEST ORPHEUM SOCIETY ON CEDILLE RECORDS

Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano:


Jewish Cabaret, Popular, and Political Songs 1900–1945
New Budapest Orpheum Society
Cedille Records CDR 90000 065

“Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano offers a bracing, unsentimental snapshot of an


important historic era, performed with huge theatrical panache by the New Budapest
Orpheum Society.” — South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“There's a world of history and culture hidden in this innocent-looking collection of


songs from the first half of the 20th century, and you don't have to be Jewish to relish
their richness.” — ClassicsToday.com
1 www.cedillerecords.org
1