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My Yiddishe Momme

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SophieTucker

1952 photograph of Sophie Tucker who helped to popularize "My Yiddishe Momme".

"My Yiddishe Momme" is a nostalgic song about a Jewish mother, written by Lew Pollack (music) and Jack Yellen (music and lyrics) in 1925. It was first recorded by Wille Howard and has subsequently been performed and recorded by many other artists in English, Yiddish and several other languages.

The song was made famous by Sophie Tucker, who began singing it in 1925 after the death of her own mother. Tucker's recording of the song was released on a gramophone record that had the song in English on the A-side and in Yiddish on the B-side. The record made it into the top ten in the United States.

Leo Fuld recorded a version of the song that combined English and Yiddish lyrics in one track. Fuld's version became an international success. In Britain the song became strongly associated with the Jewish comedian Issy Bonn. Other artists who have recorded the song include Connie Francis and Tom Jones who featured it on his 1967 album, Live at the Talk of the Town. A Spanish version called "Mi querida Mamá" ("My Dear Mother") was recorded by Nino Bravo in the early 1970's.

"My Yiddishe Momme" is about a sense of longing for days gone by and a deep love for an elderly, probably deceased mother, who was the center of the household. It implies nostalgia for the "old country" Ashkenazi culture from which the mother originated and a sense of guilt at leaving it behind and integrating into the society's mainstream.

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