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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32Jews and Music-Making in the Polish Lands$
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François Guesnet, Benjamin Matis, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764739

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764739.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Servant Romances

Servant Romances

Eighteenth-Century Yiddish Lyric and Narrative Folk Songs

(p.83) Servant Romances
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32

Michael Lukin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter traces “Yiddish servant romances” back to the eighteenth century. It examines the formal characteristics of melodies and texts typical of servant romances and shows how its emergence can be correlated with verbal folklore, various musical genres, social history, and non-Jewish folk poetry. It also explains the term “Yiddish folk songs,” which is often used to refer to the entire complex of both folk and popular songs performed by the Yiddish-speaking population. The chapter uses the designation “Yiddish folk songs” in line with Bogatyrev and Jakobson's theory of crystallization processes in the development of folklore. It points out how the servant romances revolves around unrequited love and are characterized by the fusion of archaic traits with the markers of day-to-day life in the late modern period.

Keywords:   Yiddish servant romances, verbal folklore, Yiddish folk songs, crystallization processes, unrequited love

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