Mudcat Café message #143238 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15715   Message #143238
Posted By: Charlie Baum
01-Dec-99 - 01:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: 'Banks of the Ohio' in Yiddish
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Banks of the Ohio' in Yiddish

I consider this thread a challenge, rather than a joke.

Traditional Yiddish song offers us a version of "I Gave My Love a CHerry" ("Tumbalalaika"), and a version of the impossible tasks between lovers "Scarborough Fair" ballad ("Nimt mikh a bor fun di vald/Bring me a bear from the woods"). Anything mentioning "Ohio" in Yiddish is likely to be a parody, but there are probably serious kill-your-girlfriend-by-the-river songs; just that the river is more likely to be the Dniepr or the Dunau. And given that Cincinatti, Ohio was one of the main settlement places for Jews in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it's not inconceivable that the Ohio River DOES turn up in the Yiddish song corpus, if you search intensively enough.

--Charlie Baum