Oyfn Pripetshik

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Oyfn Pripetshik (Yiddish: אויפן פריפעטשיק‎, also spelled Oyfn Pripetchik, Oyfn Pripetchek, etc.;[1] English: "On the Hearth")[2] is a Yiddish song by M.M. Warshawsky (1848–1907). The song is about a rabbi teaching his young students the aleph-bet. By the end of the 19th century it was one of the most popular songs of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, and as such it is a major musical memory of pre-Holocaust Europe.[3] The song is still sung in Jewish kindergartens.

The fourth stanza introduces tragic pathos into the song: "When, children, you will grow older / You will understand / How many tears lie in these letters / And how much crying."[4] The lyrics hint at the traditional Yiddish saying that "The history of the Jews is written in tears".[4]


% 0
 \tempo "allegro"
\numericTimeSignature \time 3/4 \key c \minor
 c'8 d'8 ees'8 ees'8 ees'4 d'8 f'8 ees'8 d'8 c'4 ees'8 bes8 ees'4 f'4 g'2.

% 2

c''8 g'8 bes'8 aes'8 f'8 d'8 f'8 aes'8 g'8 ees'8 c'4 d'8 f'8 ees'4 f'4 g'2. c''8 g'8 bes'8 aes'8 f'8 d'8 f'8 aes'8 g'8 ees'8 c'4 d'8 f'8 ees'4 d'4 c'2.
\bar "|"

Recorded versions[edit]

The song has been featured on soundtracks including:

The song is quoted in the Viola Sonata by Graham Waterhouse, entitled Sonata ebraica (Hebrew Sonata), written in 2012 and 2013, and recorded in 2015 by Hana Gubenko and Timon Altwegg who commissioned and premiered it.[7]

See the References[edit]

  1. ^ The word pripetshik is borrowed from Russian pripechek, a shelf by a Russian stove
  2. ^ Walden, Joshua S. (2015). The Cambridge Companion to Jewish Music. Cambridge University Press. p. 62. ISBN 1107023459.
  3. ^ Holocaust related music.
  4. ^ a b Rubin, Emanuel. Music in Jewish History and Culture. Harmonie Park Press, 2006, p. 186.
  5. ^ "Soundtracks for Billy Bathgate". IMDB2. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Soundtracks for "Brothers & Sisters" episode Light the Lights". IMDB1. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  7. ^ Preisser, Martin (11 December 2015). "Die Bratsche in jüdischer Klage" (in German). Tagblatt. Retrieved 13 May 2017.

External links[edit]