Sunday, 14 March 2010

My Home in Morgan Street

"My home in Morgan Street. It makes me happy, it's good. I have my own room. Though it reeks of stinking fish. There stands a girl in a dress. Shouting 'Six a penny baygels!' And a small Jew with his fiddle is playing the violin ..." The song My Home in Morgan Street is one of the highlights of Whitechapel Mayn Vaytshepl, a fantastic CD from Klezmer Klub. It is a collection of songs that celebrates the old Jewish East End. Some of the songs are adaptations of ones collected by friends and family, handed down by oral tradition, which the defiantly vibrant but desperately poor community would sing. Other numbers are new interpretations of folk songs and dances, played in the klezmer tradition, revivifying the spirit of the past. The CD is wonderfully infectious, and filled with London references. What makes it particularly important is that the history of the Jewish East End has generated a number of great books and memoirs, from Joe Jacobs to Emanuel Litvinoff to Bernard Kops to Rachel Lichtenstein, and all these mention the community's music and dancing. So Klezmer Klub's work in bringing this music to life is particularly welcome. But this is not just something worthy. It's some of the most uplifting music that's appeared in a long time. Please visit their website and treat yourself to a copy ...

1 comment:

  1. I was so glad to discover this site, and especially one particular song. When I emigrated from the UK to Canada, in 1980, I spent the month before I left going around festivals, concerts, etc., and I attended a concert of Jewish East End music. The group playing did the song "Morgan Street", and it caused a buzz among the audience, most of whom were, shall we say, of a certain age, and who had obviously lived their early lives in that part of London. I remember a jolly song, despite the lyrics, and although I only heard it on that one occasion, the melody stayed with me ever since. I've tried many times to find a recording of the song, always without success, till now, so I'm off to buy the CD. Thanks for including this link, and allowing me to fill in a small lonely hole in my past.