The seminal work of Ruth Rubin, a pioneering collector, singer, folklorist, writer, and crusader for the vanishing legacy of the Yiddish world, Voices of a People remains the only general introduction to Yiddish folksong.
A priceless collection of song texts in Yiddish and English, as well as a selection of tunes Rubin transcribed, this volume brings the Jews' ancient, itinerant culture alive through children's songs, dancing songs, and songs about love and courtship, poverty and work, crime and corruption, immigration, and the dream of a homeland. Rubin's notes and annotations weave each text into the larger story of the Jewish experience.
Noted scholar Mark Slobin provides a new foreword that includes a biographical sketch of Rubin and an assessment of her contributions over a lifetime of collecting, absorbing, and disseminating Yiddish folksong.
"Drawing on printed collections and on her own unparalleled knowledge and experience, [Rubin] has produced a book that will charm the scholar and entrance the general reader... [A] wonderfully rich collection." -- Library Journal "An impressive scholarly volume and a surprisingly readable one... [Voices of a People] is certainly a landmark in folklore because of its remarkable combination of scholarship and human understanding." -- Edith Fowke, Canadian Forum "Distinctly revealing and penetrating ... an energetic and lively portrait of every facet of Jewish life." -- Lawrence Cohn, Saturday Review "This highly readable book by the charming and knowledgeable Ruth Rubin should have a wide popular audience... No one who falls under its spell can fail to be moved." -- -- Edson Richmond, Journal of American Folklore