“ Bei Mir Bistu Shein “ ( yiddish : בײַ מיר ביסטו שיין, [ ˌbaj ˈmir ˌbistu ˈʃejn ], “ To Me You ‘re beautiful ” ) is a popular yiddish song written by Jacob Jacobs ( lyricist ) and Sholom Secunda ( composer ) for a 1932 yiddish speech comedy musical, I Would If I Could ( in Yiddish, Men Ken Lebn Nor Men Lost Nisht, “ You could live, but they do n’t let you ” ), which closed after one season ( at the Parkway Theatre in Brooklyn, New York City ). The score for the song transcribed the yiddish title as “ Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn “. The original yiddish interpretation of the song ( in C minor ) is a dialogue between two lovers. Five years after its 1932 composing, the birdcall became a global hit when recorded under a Germanized entitle as “ Bei mir bist du schön “ by The Andrews Sisters in November 1937. Neil W. Levin, a learner of jewish music, has contended that “ Bei Mir Bistu Shein ” is “ the earth ‘s best-known and longest-reigning yiddish theater birdcall of all fourth dimension. ” Echoing these sentiments, writer Stephen J. Whitfield has far posited that the birdcall ‘s popularity and influence in pre-war America epitomizes how “ a minority [ immigrant ] culture ” can transform the popular arts of a bombastic democratic nation.
Reading: Bei Mir Bistu Shein – Wikipedia
history [edit ]
yiddish original [edit ]
Sholom Secunda was a composer born in the russian empire in 1894. He immigrated to the United States as a boy in 1906. When composing tunes for yiddish dramaturgy as a young man, Secunda purportedly spurned a youthful George Gershwin as a melodious confederate in favor of Jacob Jacobs, an “ actor-director connected with the Parkway Theater. ” together, Secunda and lyricist Jacobs created “ Bei Mir Bistu Shein ” for a yiddish operetta called I Would If I Could, written in 1932 by Abraham Blum. The plot of Blum ‘s operetta was allegedly banal and underwhelming :
“ Jake, a shoe factory worker who is fired for union organize activeness is in love with the owner ‘s daughter, Hene. In answer to her refer about the endurance of his commitment to her, he sings Bay mir bistu sheyn to her at some period in the beginning act. Despite a series of predictable attempts to thwart the marriage, they are, of course, wed in the end. ”
The song itself featured alone fleetingly in this original musical production and was performed as a lovers duet by Aaron Lebedeff and Lucy Levin. Nevertheless, the song became a long-familiar crowd-pleaser in yiddish musical field and at jewish enclaves in the Catskills. It was a darling among jewish bandstands of the Second Avenue milieu. When I Would If I Could closed after one season, Secunda attempted to sell the publish rights of the song. He flew by plane to California to sell the rights to the sung to popular entertainer Eddie Cantor who demurred by saying : “ I ca n’t use it. It ‘s excessively jewish. ” In desperate fiscal straits, Secunda sold the rights in 1937 to the Kammen Music Company for a bare US $ 30, a modest union which he split with his partner Jacobs. In light of the late ball-shaped achiever of the song, Secunda and Jacobs forfeited earning a much as $ 350,000 in royalties .
english version [edit ]
There are conflicting versions regarding the origins for the English version of the birdcall. In one popular fictionalize, musician Sammy Cahn witnessed a spectacular operation of the birdcall in yiddish by african-american performers Johnnie and George at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City. Jenny Grossinger, a Grossinger ‘s Catskill Resort Hotel owner, claimed to have taught the sung to Johnnie and George while they were performing at the repair. Upon seeing the enthusiastic hearing reply to the song, Cahn urged his employer to buy the rights so that he and frequent collaborator Saul Chaplin could rewrite the composing with English lyrics and alter the rhythm method of birth control to be more typical of swing music. Cahn late was able to locate the plane music in a Manhattan memory in the Jewish Lower East Side. A competing lineage report claims that bandleader Vic Schoen discovered Secunda ‘s and Jacobs ‘ catchy tune “ in a collection of tribe songs in a little patronize in the lobby of a yiddish dramaturgy on Second Avenue. ” Schoen forwarded the memorable sung to Lou Levy “ who in turn gave it to Sammy Cahn and Saul Chaplin who wrote the lyrics for it. ” Levy then persuaded the little-known Andrews Sisters to record the song as “ Bei Mir Bist Du Schön ” on November 24, 1937, for a flat tip of $ 50. The Andrews Sisters had initially attempted to record the song in yiddish, but their Decca Records manufacturer Jack Kapp stridently objected and insisted the trio criminal record the sung in American-vernacular English .
Hitherto dismissed as mere imitators of the Boswell Sisters, the Andrews Sisters ‘ covering of the yiddish song— ” which the [ three ] girls harmonized to paragon ” —catapulted the relatively unknown trio to fame and became a enormous reach for Kapp ‘s Decca label. Within thirty days, a quarter of a million records had been sold, angstrom well as two hundred thousand copies of the sail music. Life magazine claimed that music stores were inundated by baffled customers trying to purchase a record which they misidentified as either “ Buy a Beer, Mr. Shane, ” or “ My Mere Bits of Shame. ”
global phenomenon [edit ]
Love, Honor and Behave (1938) featured the song. Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), although the song did not appear in the final cut of the film. Within a class after its liberation, popular Hollywood films such as ( 1938 ) featured the birdcall. Judy Garland recorded a report for ( 1938 ), although the song did not appear in the concluding cut of the film. The song quickly became a cosmopolitan phenomenon. Within thirty days of the Andrews Sisters ‘ version of “ Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, ” a numeral of other artists “ recorded the songs in the hopes of cashing in on its popularity. ” In December 1937, artists such as Belle Baker, Kate Smith, Benny Goodman ( with Martha Tilton and Ziggy Elman ), Ella Fitzgerald, the Barry Sisters, and Rudy Vallée, had all put out competing covers. soon after, the song appeared in Hollywood films such as Love, Honor and Behave ( 1938 ) sing by ingénue Priscilla Lane, and Oscar Micheaux ‘s american race film Swing ( 1938 ) spill the beans by Cora Green. By the end of 1938—a mere class later— Guy Lombardo, Greta Keller, Mieczyslaw Fogg, Slim Gaillard, Zarah Leander, Willie “ The Lion ” Smith, Eddie Rosner, Adrian Rollini, Tommy Dorsey, and others had all recorded the sung.
From the 1940s to 1960s, extra covers were performed by a younger coevals of artists which included Ramsey Lewis, Louis Prima ( with Keely Smith ), The Crew-Cuts, and June Christy. Over clock time, the song grossed approximately $ 3 million, with its original creators Secunda and Jacobs missing significant royalties. In February 1961, the copyright on the song expired, and the possession reverted to Secunda and Jacobs, who signed a sign with Harms, Inc., securing proper royalties. That same year, Secunda and Jacobs developed a raw musical around the birdcall itself, eponymously titled Bay mir bistu sheyn. In the revamp 1961 melodious, “ a rabbi and his two sons and a matchmaker and his daughter. One of the rabbi ‘s sons is in love with the matchmaker ‘s daughter. ” Their hope marriage finally occurs, but not before the common quixotic misunderstandings and complexities. In his late years, shortly before his death, Secunda purportedly expressed dismay that he would be remembered entirely for writing the song .
other countries [edit ]
Nazi Germany [edit ]
In 1938, the song was a hit score in Nazi Germany under its Germanized claim “ Bei mir bist du schön “. According to contemporary journalist Michael Mok, the song was besides vastly popular among the german diaspora in America where pro-Nazi sympathizers in Yorkville ale-houses often chorused the tune under the mistake impression that it was “ a Goebbels-approved “ ballad. initially assumed to be an uncontroversial sung in a southern german dialect, an tumult occurred when its jewish birthplace was abruptly discovered and widely publicized by the iron. Following this embarrassing discovery, as “ any music by composers of jewish ancestry was forbidden under the Nazi regimen, ” the song was promptly banned by department of state authorities in Germany. subsequently during World War II, an unusual exception to this ban occurred : notice that radio audiences wished to hear american jazz, the Nazis decided to exploit such music for their propaganda efforts. accordingly, Charlie and his Orchestra —a Nazi -sponsored German propaganda swing ensemble derisively nicknamed “ Goebbels ‘ band ” —recorded a state-approved anti-semitic and anti-Bolshevik version of “ Bei Mir Bist Du Schön. ” This version was played by nazi broadcasters in occupied countries. This national socialist propaganda adaptation of the birdcall was entitled “ Anthem of the International Brotherhood of Bolsheviks ” and has been credited by learner Élise Petit with increasing anti-semitic opinion amid the Holocaust .
Soviet Union [edit ]
There have been several parody songs to the tune in the Soviet Union, some of them performed by democratic wind orchestra. In 1943, a Russian-language song for the music was produced entitled “ Baron von five hundred Pshik ” ( “ Барон фон дер Пшик ” ). presumably to avoid paying royalties, this version was falsely credited to a soviet songwriter. It featured satirical anti-Nazi lyrics by Anatoli Fidrovsky, with music arrangement by Orest Kandat. initially, it was recorded by the wind orchestra ( film director Nikolay Minkh ) of the Baltic Fleet Theatre, and late it was included into the repertory of Leonid Utyosov ‘s wind orchestra. In the late soviet period, a translation came out under the name “ In the Port of Cape Town “ ( “ V Keiptaunskom portu ” ), with lyrics by Pavel Gandelman [ ruthenium ], a jewish native of Leningrad. [ 43 ] It quickly became part of the soviet urban folklore. This song was performed by russian singer Larisa Dolina .
Parodies [edit ]
- “The Bear Missed the Train,” was written by the Smith Street Society Jazz Band in 1964 and became a favorite on Jean Shepherd’s radio narratives.
- “The Ballad of Shane Muscatel” is a humorous song written by Tom Constanten. Set amidst a fictional Old West rivalry between wine vintners and beer brewers, it tells of the titular oenophile’s wanderings. The narrative’s final verse includes the punchline, “Buy a beer, Mr. Shane”.
- Shasta Beverages ran commercials for Shasta Root Beer, during the 1970s, where a dusty cowpoke entered a saloon, asking “Barkeep, whadya got that’s real good”, and everyone in the bar breaks out in song to answer, “It’s root beer, Mr. Shane”.