Hey, Tsigelekh...A Shepherd Tells Of His Lost Love
Rabbi Elimeylekh...A Rabbi Get Drunk, Makes Music, And Celebrates Life
Raisins And Almonds...A Mother Cradles Her Child, Wishing Him Everything
Papirosin...A Boy Sells Cigarettes To Survive The War
Ten Kopeks...A Guy Want Ten Pennies To Romance His Girl/Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious/...
Yome, Yome...A Mother Asks Her Daughter, What Do You Want?
Paper Is White...To The Most Wonderful Girl In The World
Song Of The Titanic...Doomed Lovers, Refusing To Separate, Ask God Why?
Motl The Operator...A Tailor Working In A Sweatshop To Support His Family Is Killed In A Union...
Under Your White Stars...A Holocaust Song
American Tune...Our Journey To America
Take Me Out To The Ball Game/God Bless America
Der Alter Tzigayner...The Old Gypsy Fiddler Plays An Unforgettable Tune: White Christmas
Oyfn Pripetshik...Children Learn Their ABC's
Mandy Patinkin knew only a few words of Yiddish at the beginning of the '90s, when the late Joe Papp eked a promise from the actor-singer to learn the repertoire. So he did, and this helzapoppin' collection of traditional ... more »Yiddish tunes and Yiddish translations of English songs by Jewish composers is the overblown, symphonically orchestrated result. Patinkin plays to the third balcony on "Mamaloshen" ("mother tongue"), squeezing every iota of feeling out of songs you might have heard on Grandma's knee, and turning each guttural consonant into a virtual phlegm fest. Nostalgia can be nice, but things get weird when Patinkin makes with Yiddish versions of such showstoppers as "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," Paul Simon's "American Tune," "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and--oy vey ist mir!--even "The Hokey Pokey," their inclusion justified on assimilationist principles. --Richard Gehr« less
Mandy Patinkin knew only a few words of Yiddish at the beginning of the '90s, when the late Joe Papp eked a promise from the actor-singer to learn the repertoire. So he did, and this helzapoppin' collection of traditional Yiddish tunes and Yiddish translations of English songs by Jewish composers is the overblown, symphonically orchestrated result. Patinkin plays to the third balcony on "Mamaloshen" ("mother tongue"), squeezing every iota of feeling out of songs you might have heard on Grandma's knee, and turning each guttural consonant into a virtual phlegm fest. Nostalgia can be nice, but things get weird when Patinkin makes with Yiddish versions of such showstoppers as "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," Paul Simon's "American Tune," "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and--oy vey ist mir!--even "The Hokey Pokey," their inclusion justified on assimilationist principles. --Richard Gehr
Myra S. (ignolopi) from SALT LAKE CTY, UT Reviewed on 6/21/2011...
If you are looking for something different, I do recommend this CD. He has a smooth, deep voice, that can change to high and sharp very quickly. Some of the songs, such as Raisins and Almonds, are really beautiful, while others are rather silly (in a fun way).
This was my first time hearing Mandy Patinkin's music. I was curious, knowing him only as the character in the Princess Bride.
I enjoyed the CD overall.
Every Goy's Guide to Mamaloshen
email@example.com | Seattle | 11/18/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love Yiddish words, though I did not grow up listening to the language, and never heard any Yiddish songs. My limited Yiddish came from my Unitarian father's useage, e.g., my sister was called "Yenta-Kvetch." Thus, I appreciated the booklet with each song in Yiddish and English. I've been a loyal fan of Mandy Patinkin's singing since his first recording, "Dress Casual." I love to surprise people who only know him from "Chicago Hope" or "The Princess Bride" by playing Mandy's version of "Over the Rainbow" from his 1989 CD, "Mandy Patinkin." "Mamaloshen" is at its best when Mandy's sweet powerful voice is able to unleash his full emotion. Paul Simon's "American Tune" never sounded better. At the other end, I could have done without the spiced up "White Christmas" with its overbearing cymbals. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" are humorous the first time thru then could be skipped, except in the middle of a silly baseball song is a fantastic, gut wrentching version of "God Bless America." The most lasting songs are the ones I never heard before. In the middle of the day, my mind will replay the words I don't comprehend to "Rabbi Elimeylekh." Every time I listen to the emotional songs in "Mamaloshen," I have a greater appreciation of the melting pot which is America. You don't have to be Jewish to appreciated the Yiddish songs. You only have to be alive to appreciate the artistry of Mandy Patinkin."
What a surprise!!!
Steven Kruger | Atlanta, GA USA | 10/22/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though a "Mandy Patinkin" fan, I made TERRIBLE jokes about this album before even hearing it. "Yiddish songs?", I thought. Well, upon hearing this recording at a friend's (who is even hipper than I), I was enchanted. What beautiful, enchanting music! It calms me down even better than a Xanex. Everyone needs one!"
Patinkin Captures the Essence
firstname.lastname@example.org M. Saper | Chicago, Illinois | 06/17/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mandy Patinkin has done it! He has captured the humor, pathos and electricity of this genre. My mother used to sing Oyfen Pripetshik to me as a child, Mandy made me cry. My only disappointment was the translitteration which I found a little fuzzy, but that could be a matter of dialect. Patinkin's choice of material is marvelous, and his inclusion of Take Me Out to the Ballgame clearly illustrates the desire of an entire generation to assimilate, to be Americans. My husband and I thrilled to "Got Bencht Amerike". I truly hope this is the first of a series, an important documentation of Yiddish music for generations for whom the music and the language has been lost. As Patinkin states in his notes, Yiddish in America was the secret language, so the "kinder nicht ferschte."More, Mandy, more!!"
Ever heard the term Yinglish?
K. Corn | Indianapolis,, IN United States | 03/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Read on - and then think about that word, Yinglish, in the context of this CD and think about whether it is worth Kvetching about the various songs on this CD, some quite unconventional. For those who haven't heard the word, Yinglish was used by Leo Rosten in a book called The Joys of Yiddish (others have used it, too) and it describes how YIDDISH speakers have continued to let Yiddish words (and the language itself) change and mingle with words from other countries. As a result, in the natural course of things, Yiddish spoken in America may sound VERY different from the way Yiddish is used and spoken in Israel. This type of thing happens in ALL languages, including English. We have words like "Phat" and "fat", for example, relatively recent evolutions of words and word usage. You can't keep language from evolving....or music or Yiddish music, for that matter...or how Yiddish is used in song. To do so would stifle the creative process.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THIS CD? (sorry for the caps but I really do want to stress this question): Some Yiddish "traditionalists" seem to be ambivalent about a "Yiddish" song compilation that includes songs from Mary Poppins as well as the more traditional songs - all translated into Yiddish.
I find it refreshing. I can see why some believe it might even water down Yiddish - but let's face it- Yiddish speakers have had a hard time keeping the language alive and many speakers have changed or loosened certain terms or words, anyway - so why can't a singer? At least, Pantinkin does it with a certain humor and reverence. Listen to the music and I think you'll agree.
And yes....Mandy Pantinkin can be over the top, sometimes (also known as "a willingness to take creative risks") but I think his voice is superb here, his timing and emotional resonance are lovely and the selections are fun to listen to, even moving (depending on the tune). Whenever I play it at a party or with friends and family, it has helped spark conversations about Yiddish. So how can it be hurting Yiddish?"