Mudcat Café message #2053003 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32238   Message #2053003
Posted By: GUEST,Gerry
15-May-07 - 09:23 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Papirosn
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Papirosn
The lyrics were written around 1931, inspired by what the writer had seen in Eastern Europe during and after World War I. The tune goes back considerably farther, is of unclear ethnic origin, and, as an instrumental, can be played sad, happy, or anywhere in between. It's rarely played happy nowadays because so many people associate it with these lyrics.

Since the title is a transliteration, it's not clear to me that a different spelling is automatically a mistake. I've seen it spelled Papirossen.

Maybe the best recording (IMHO) is by Elizabeth Schwarz, the vocalist for and wife of Yale Strom. I think it's on the CD, Garden of Yidn, on Naxos. Abraham Diner (a few posts up) will be happy to know that they do it with something of a tango beat.

That album, and their other album, Cafe Jew Zoo, have a lot of terrific instrumental and vocal pieces.