We certainly all need some tenderness and a couple laughs right now. Below, the wonderful, luminous Molly Picon—who worked with legendary actor-producer-director-impressario-rival-to-Jacob-Adler-Stella’s-dad-model-for-Max-Bialystock-grandfather-of-Michael-Tilson-Thomas Boris Thomashevsky—sings “Oyfen Pripetchik” (MM Warshawsky 1848–1907), an enduring, evocative song from the past that everyone at a certain time, in a certain place, seems to have known the melody and all the words to. From season 2, episode 6 of the TV comedy masterpiece, Car 54, Where Are You? (Entire episode on my YT channel here. And really, dig the punch line ending.)
Below, a lovely rendition from Israeli singer Chava Alberstein.
Could you say no to this woman?
Oyfn pripetchik brent a fayerl, Un in shtub is heys. Un der rebe lernt kleyne kinderlekh Dem alef-beyz.
Zet zhe kinderlekh, Gedenkt zhe, tayere, vos ir lernt do. Zogt zhe nokh a mol un take nokh a mol: “Komets-alef: o!”
Lernt kinderlekh, lernt mit freyd, Lernt dem alef-beyz. Gliklekh is der Yid, wos kent die toyre Un dos alef-beyz.