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A Little Letter

by Brivele

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in digipak case with Brivele palindrome triptych block-print coverart, band photo, and lyric sheet

    Includes unlimited streaming of A Little Letter via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
In ale gasn vu men geyt Hert men zabostovkes Yinglekh, meydlekh, kind un keyt Shmusen fun nabovkes Genug shoyn brider horeven, Genug shoyn borgn layen, Makht a zabostovke, Lomir brider zikh bafrayen! Brider un shvester, Lomir zikh gebn di hent, Lomir Nikoleykelen Tsebrekhn di vent! Mir makhn keyn sof biz se vet men rufn di politsay Un oykh dan mir heybn on oyfsnay, vi s’volt Gornit nit geshen [Chorus] Hey, hey, daloy politsey! Daloy samederzhvayets v'rasey! Brider un shvester, Lomir geyn tsuzamen, Lomir Nikkolaykelen Bagrobn mit der mamen! Brothers and sisters, All gather round Together we are strong enough To bring this Tsar down! [Chorus] Nekhtn hot er gefirt A vegele mit mist Haynt is er gevorn A kapitalist! Mir makhn keyn sof biz se vet men rufn di politsay Un oykh dan mir heybn on oyfsnay, vi s’volt Gornit nit geshen We won’t stop until somebody calls the cops And even then we’ll start again And just pretend that nothing ever happened [Chorus] Out of your houses, into the streets Everybody say, “Fuck the Police!”
2.
Why, Oh Dona 05:38
Why is the calf on a wagon? Why the mournful eye? Because the calf is bound for market And that calf is gonna die.   [Eng Chorus] How the winds are laughing They laugh with all their might Laugh and laugh the whole day through And half the Summer’s night   Why is a calf not a swallow? Why, oh why, oh why? Cuz calves don’t have wings to fly So that calf is gonna die.   Why does a calf go to slaughter Not knowing the reason why? Cuz calves don’t have wings to fly That calf is gonna die.   Why, oh why, oh why oh? Why, oh why, oh why? Because because because because Goodbye goodbye goodbye   Why won’t the calf just grow wings? Then he won’t have to die If you weren’t sending calves to market Then they wouldn’t need to fly!   [Yid Chorus] Lakht der vint in korn Lakht un lakht un lakht Lakht er op a tog a gantsn Mit a halber nakht Oyfn furl ligt a kelbl Ligt gebundn mit a shtrik Hoykh in himl flit a foygl Flit un dreyt zikh hin un tsrik [Yid Chorus] Dona, dona… Schrayt dos kelbl, zogt der poyer Ver zhe heyst dikh zayn a kalb? Volst gekent dokh zayn a foygl Volst gekent dokh zayn a schvalb. [Yid Chorus] Dona, dona… Calves are easily bound and slaughtered, Never knowing the reason why But whoever treasures freedom Like the swallow has learned to fly. [Eng Chorus] Dona, dona… Why oh why oh why oh? Dona dona dona don.
3.
It's that old fashioned flavor That all the folks favor Hebrew anti-national meats They're a treat to be sure ‘Cause the beef is so pure Hebrew anti-national meats You'll find corned beef and roast beef Salami, pastrami And wonderful frankfurters too They are surely delicious And purely nutritious Hebrew anti-national… Anti-national meats.
4.
Oy Zionists 02:07
Oi, ihr narishe tsionistn Mit ayer narishn meykhl Ihr mag dokh geyn tsu dem arbeter Un lernen bai im seykhl! Ihr vilt undz forn keyn Yerushalaim! Mir zaln dortn golodayen Mir viln beser zain in Rus[n]land, Mir veln zikh bafrayen! Oh you foolish little Zionists With your utopian mentality You'd better go down to the factory And learn the worker's reality. You want to take us to Jerusalem So we can die as a nation We'd rather stay in the Diaspora And fight for our liberation Глупенькие сионисты, Вы такие утописты. Вы бы лучше шли в рабочие Или в трубочисты. В Иерушалаим Идти за вами не желаем, Мы в Рассее останемся - Бороться с Николаем! Мы в рассеяньи останемся - Бороться с Николаем!
5.
Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a breg, Kh’vel aykh fregn, kh’vel aykh fregn, Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle: Oh wise rabbi, I have a question: Vi azoy trinkt der keyser tey? How does the tsar drink his tea? Vi azoy trinkt der keyser tey? Me nemt a hitele tsuker, You take a barrel of sugar, Un me makht in dem a lekhele, And you carve a hole in the top, Un me gist arayn heyse vaser, Pour in the hot water, Un me misht, un me misht And you stir, and you stir Ot azoy, just like that, ot azoy, Ot azoy trinkt der keyser tey. That’s how the tsar drinks his tea. Ot azoy trinkt der keyser tey. Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a breg, Kh’vel aykh fregn, kh’vel aykh fregn, Oh Rabbi, another question Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle: Vi azoy est der keyser bulbes? How does the tsar eat potatoes? Vi azoy est der keyser bulbes? Me nemt a fesele puter Un me shtelt avek dem keyser Oyf der anderer zayt, Un a rote soldatn, mit harmatn, Shisn di bulbes durkh der puter Dem keyser glaykh in moyl arayn! So basically, you shoot a potato From a cannon, through a wall of butter Straight into the tsar’s mouth! Ot azoy, ot azoy, just like that Ot azoy est der keyser bulbes. That’s how the tsar eats potatoes. Ot azoy est der keyser bulbes. One more question. Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a breg, Kh’vel aykh fregn, kh’vel aykh fregn, Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle: Vi azoy shloft der keyser bay nakht? How does the tsar sleep at night? Vi azoy shloft der keyser bay nakht? You fill a room full of feathers Me shit on a fuln kheyder mit federn, And the room is so full Un me khmalet ahin arayn That you have to Dem keyser cram the tsar in, and Un dray polk soldatn Then you have three hundred soldiers Shteyen a gantse stand guard Nakht un shrayen all night. And then they yell: Shut Sha! the fuck Sha! up! Sha! Just like that Ot azoy, ot azoy Ot azoy shloft der keyser bay nahkt. That’s how the tsar sleeps at night. Ot azoy shloft der keyser bay nahkt.
6.
7.
Bayt zhe mir oys a finfuntsvantsiker Oyf samerodne drayer; Un shpilt zhe mir, klezmorimlekh, A lidele, a tayer. Rim-cherum, cherim-cherum… Bayt zhe mir oys a finfuntsvantsiker Oyf samerodne firer; Un shpilt zhe mir, klezmorimlekh, Dos zelbike, vos frier. Rim-cherum, cherim-cherum… Bayt zhe mir oys a finfuntsvantsiker Oyf samerodne tsener; Un shpilt zhe mir, klezmorimlekh, Dos zelbike, nor shener. Rim-cherum, cherim-cherum… Bayt zhe mir oys a finfuntsvantsiker Oyf same imperyaln; Ikh vel betn di klezmorimlekh, Zey zoln zikh nit ayln. Rim-cherum, cherim-cherum… Or blow me a kiss, And that’s lucky too.
8.
Dumm ba dum bum bum…!
9.
Nit zukh mikh vu di mirtn grinen. Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats. Vu lebns velkn bay mashinen, Dortn iz mayn rue plats.   Nit zukh mikh vu di feygl zingen. Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats. A shklaf bin ikh vu keytn klingen, Dortn iz mayn rue plats.   Nit zukh mikh vu fontanen shpritsn. Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats. Vu trern rinen, tseyner kritsn, Dortn iz mayn rue plats.   Un libstu mikh mit varer libe, To kum tsu mir, mayn guter shats, Un hayter oyf mayn harts di tribe Un makh mir zis mayn rue plats.
10.
Hungry Yid 03:40
Kh’hob a vayb un kind in Baltimor, Dick Kh’bin aroys af a rege un mer nit tsurik. Vi a taykh vos zayn tsvek iz im umbakant Kh’hob farkerevet ergets un vayter geshpant. [Chorus] Yeder eyner hot a hungerik harts Yeder eyner hot a hungerik harts Geyn in gevet af dayn grestn shats Yeder eyner hot a hungerik harts I had a basement room in Capitol Hill When I moved in, rent was $350 still Like the Amazon don’t know where it’s flowing It flooded in, and I had to get going [Chorus] Everybody needs a place to rest Everybody wants to have a home Don’t make no difference what nobody says Ain’t nobody like to be alone Everybody’s got a hungry heart Everybody’s got a hungry heart Lay down your money And you play your part Everybody’s got a hungry heart [Chorus]

about

“A Little Letter” was recorded during Pesach 5778/April 2018 at The Homestead, by Brian Lindsay.

credits

released May 25, 2018

**Acknowledgements:**

Our songs are borrowed, translated, and mashed up, with the utmost love and respect for the original pieces, writers, and performers. We attempt to identify and credit all of our sources below. Apologies for the gaps and inaccuracies of our information (thanks/no thanks to imperialism, genocide, and assimilation). Tremendous gratitude to all of the archivists and preservers of Yiddishkeit.

**Thanks:**

Brian Lindsay: Executive Producer, Sound Engineer, mediator, mixer, masterer, chauffeur.
Sandy Silberstein & Doug Brown for loaning your home as a recording studio.
Alan Roberts for loaning your recording equipment.
Ruth Levin for translating Loose Lips & Hungry Heart into Yiddish for us.

**Credits:**

FTP in der Gasn
arranged by Brivele, adapted from Zalman Mlotek’s 1980 arrangement “In Ale Gasn/Hey Hey, Daloy Politsey,” Kimya Dawson’s “Loose Lips” (2006), and Geoff Berner’s “Daloy Polizei” (2011). Many thanks to Kimya Dawson & Geoff Berner.

Why, Oh Dona
arranged by Brivele, adapted from Sholom Secunda/Aaron Zeitlin’s “Dos Kelbl” (written for the 1941 stage production, “Esterke”) and Woody Guthrie’s “Why Oh Why” (1960, renewed). Sweet violin riff borrowed from Les Yeux Noir. English verses written by Maia Brown.

Anti-National Meats
arranged by Brivele, adapted from The Pincus Sisters c/o “Music From The Yiddish Radio Project: Archival Recordings From The Golden Age Of Yiddish Radio 1930s-1950s” (2006).

Oy, Zionists
arranged by Brivele, translations by Daniel Kahn (English) and Psoy Korolenko (Russian). The original was collected by Moshe Beregovsky, republished in Mark Slobin’s Old Jewish Folk Music.

Vi Azoy Shloft Der Keyser?
arranged by Brivele, adapted from Leo Low’s 1931 arrangement.

Good Filter Fish
a brief improv

Shpilt Zhe Mir
arranged by Stefanie Brendler, borrowed from M. Kipnis’ “Bayt zhe mir oys a finfuntsvantsiker” (1925), and “Chim Chim Cher-ee” by The Sherman Brothers (1964) for Mary Poppins’s corporate overlords.

Stanton Street
arranged by Brivele, adapted from Moishe Oysher c/o “Music From The Yiddish Radio Project: Archival Recordings From The Golden Age Of Yiddish Radio 1930s-1950s” (2006).

Mayn Rue Platz
arranged by Brivele, text by Morris Rosenfeld (1911).

Hungry Yid
arranged by Brivele, adapted from Bruce “the boss” Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” (1980). English verse written by Brivele.

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Brivele Seattle, Washington

A discontented punky-klezy trio of Yiddishists.

Brivele is:

Stefanie Brendler (accordion, vox, glockenspiel, slide whistle)
Maia Brown (banjo, vox)
Hannah Hamavid (violin, ukulele, vox)
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