The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81174 Message #1489784
Posted By: Dave'sWife
21-May-05 - 12:13 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: 'You, You Sons of Moses' Anti-Semitic
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'You, You Sons of Moses' Anti-Semiti
I heard the anti-semitic version of this song sung AT a Jewish History teacher in the Public Junior Highschool& Highschool I attended in the mid to late 70s. They would sing those "sons of Davey.. join the Yiddish Navy' lines and they referred not to crooked noses but to 'big, big noses. It bothered me very much. These kids also tortured him in other ways such as throwing pennies at him in the Hallway.
This was in a Bedroom community of NYC populated mainly by "WASP" type families. There was an underclass of Italian Catholic families who were descended from Italian Stone-cutters who had settled in the town after 1880, having been brought over to build the huge homes that dotted the hills which sourrounded the town. The homes & their residents were referred to as 'The Hill-Toppers.' I lived there then because my father was in Law Enforcement and had been assigned to a nearby barracks.
Most Catholic kids attended Parochial School through at least the 6th grade and most through the 8th Grade. The wealthier WASP kids had a private Day School and a Boarding school. The Public School was mostly Upper-Middle Class WASP kids and then come the 8th grade, there would be an influx of the Catholic Kids whose families couldn't afford to send them to Catholic Highschool. There were only 2 Jewish students, a pair of sisters and 3 African American students. All the minority and working-class kids stuck together. All of us were subjected to similar treatment as the History teacher as well. They had nasty songs for all of us.
The teacher in question considered the taunts to be a game of one-upmanship. He'd sometimes sing along with the kids but would sing different words. I presume he was singing the correct lyrics. he'd also go and pick up the pennies and put them in a jar on his desk. I think he felt that he was besting them somehow. He wasn't; it only encouraged them more. They also sang some horrible song about a 'Wandering Jew' to him.
I would say that the year I first heard the song would have been 1976 when I was in the seventh Grade and the last time I heard it would have been 1980, when I began attending college off-campus for half-days as a Junior in High-school. I hope this info is useful to you. Forgive my typos.