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Lyr Add: Old Solomon Levy

Jack Campin 06 Nov 15 - 07:12 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Old Solomon Levy
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Nov 15 - 07:12 PM

From the Klezmer Klub's CD "Whitechapel, mayn Vaytshepl", KRCD001, 2009.

Both Morgan Street and Old Solomon Levy, collected by Derek Reid from his mother, Sylvie Reid, were well known street songs or children's chants that she had learned as a child on the streets of Whitechapel. Solomon Levy was an itinerant Jewish musician. In 1924 when Sylvie was eight, she would watch Solomon Levy play, and the children would come out and the girls would dance around him. She had a clear memory of his pitches in Hessel Street market, outside the Whitechapel hospital, Petticoat Lane and Bell Lane.

Old Solomon Levy, tralala lalala la
Di mame gemakht di kliskes tralala lalala la
A froy mit funf kinder aroys fun der vinder
Un oy zi krekhtzt un oy zi lakht
Fun old Solomon Levy.

Old Solomon Levy, tralala lalala la
The mother is making noodles, tralala lalala la
A woman with five children looks out the window
And oy she moans and laughs
At old Solomon Levy.

I've heard Vivi Lachs, the singer on that CD, talking about this. She collected songs in Jewish old people's homes around London; all the oldest residents knew that song. If I remember right, the implication was that Solomon Levy was in fact the father of a lot of the children, being a noted womanizer. Some people knew more, but that's all they have on the CD and all that most of the old people remembered.

I'll ABC the tune when I get the chance.

(Note: there are queries on Mudcat about "Old Solomon Levi" - that implies a different pronunciation in British English, so mods, please don't mess with the spelling used here).

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