My Yiddishe Momme

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My Yiddishe Momme (Yiddish: א יידישע מאמע) is a song written by Jack Yellen (words and music) and Lew Pollack (music),[1] first recorded by Willie Howard, and was made famous in vaudeville by Belle Baker and by Sophie Tucker, and later by the Barry Sisters. Tucker began singing My Yiddishe Momme in 1925, after the death of her own mother.[2] She later dedicated her autobiography Some of These Days to Yellen, "A grand song writer, and a grander friend".[3] Sophie Tucker made 'Mama' a top 5 U.S. hit in 1928, English on one side and Yiddish on the B-side. Leo Fuld combined both in one track and made it a hit in the rest of the world."[4] It was the signature song of British comedian Issy Bonn.[5]


The song, in English and Yiddish, sadder in the original Yiddish than in the English translation, the mother implicitly symbolizes a sense of nostalgia for the "old world", as well as guilt for having left it behind in assimilating into American society.[2]


There are several versions of the song, under different names:


Jackie Wilson recorded a version of "My Yiddishe Momme" on You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet, a tribute album to Al Jolson, with Chorus and Orchestra directed by Dick Jacobs, released on the Brunswick Label in 1961.

The song was included in the 1965 Horst Jankowski album "The Genius of Jankowski!"

Neil Sedaka covered the song in English and Yiddish in 1966.

A Spanish version of the song, titled "A mi madre querida" (To my beloved mother) and containing some of the Yiddish text, was recorded as a bolero in the late 1950s by La Sonora Matancera with Carlos Argentino [es] (who was an Argentinean Jew) singing.

Another Spanish version was made in the early 1970s called "Mi Querida Mama (My beloved Mama)"; it was sung by singer Nino Bravo.

Tom Jones performed a live version on his 1967 album Tom Jones Live! at the Talk of the Town. He reprised this as a duet with John Farnham first on the Australian television show Hey Hey It's Saturday in 1990, and then on the 2005 CD/DVD album Together in Concert.[6]

French singer Charles Aznavour recorded a French version on 16 March 2003, on his album Plus bleu.

Ray Charles performed a short cover version of the song in a fifth-season episode of The Nanny, wherein he plays the fiancé of Fran Fine's Jewish grandmother, Yetta.

Ivan Rebroff sang a German version (Mutters Hände) in 1981.

Alexander Goldscheider sang a Czech version Můj židovský táta[7] in which he converted his lyrics to My Yiddishe Tate in 2021.


  1. ^ "How a Sentimental Yiddish Song Became a Worldwide Hit—and a Nazi Target". HISTORY. 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  2. ^ a b Bazelon, Emily (2007-06-13). "A brief history of the Jewish mother". Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  3. ^ "My Yiddishe Momme by Sophie Tucker - Songfacts".
  4. ^ [1] Archived August 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 163. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  6. ^ d3rd3vil (2011-07-07). "Tom Jones and John Farnham - My Yiddishe Momme 2005 Live". Archived from the original on 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2014-08-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Můj židovský táta by Alexander Goldscheider".