Set List

Mostly Kosher

Vitebsk

Featuring Janice Mautner Markham

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This World is yours

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Verse 1


Barukh Ate' zingt der ta-te
Un er tzindt di licht
Un di shtraln milde faln
Oyf sayn blas ge zicht
Un a fayer heylik tayer
In di oygn laycht
Un der mider mit di glider
Hot zich oysgeglaycht

**Instrumental break**


Verse 2


Baruch Ate, my father sings
Worn and tired, his faith to which he clings
Hands that tremor with trials of his life
He strikes a match to burn away his strife
He rises, proudly, kindling the light
One by one, eight candles shimmer bright
A fire that’s burning, reflects in his eyes
That burns with hope, determined to survive


**Instrumental interlude + solos**

Bridge


Un es dacht zich, un es tracht zich
S’iz noch e-pes do
S’iz geblibn voz tzu libn
Heylik iz di sho
And it’s here now, and it’s yours now,

and this world is yours
Fight for justice, love so bloodless, from this hour more

Yiddish Translation:


“And it seems, and it appears, there is still something here. ...something has remained to love;
holy is this hour.”

 


Barukh Ate...a yiddish song with lyrics witnessing a father clinging to tradition in the light of the candles, remembering the fight of the Maccabees...Mostly Kosher’s response: this war is yours now...to every listener that hears this song...fight for justice, love so bloodless, from this hour more...

Nafshi

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Verse 1


Rise in this desert, the air is dry
Clouds are colored with the dust in your eyes
The moon is carving a hole up above
Come with me, before the dawn interrupts


Chorus


Al Mishkavi, Baleilot, Bikashti,

Et Ahava Nafshi...Shel Ahava Nafshi


Verse 2


Hold this moment, grasp it tight
Lift your hands and tear down the skies
Graze my skin with the heat of your eyes
Time may not notice, if we steal tonight

Chorus


Al Mishkavi, Baleilot, Bikashti,

Et Ahava Nafshi...Shel Ahava Nafshi

Bridge


Fall on my bed, in the night,
I seek the soul who loves mine
When I find you, leave your body behind
Then I’ll guide you, I’ll free your mind

Breakdown


...Shel Ahava Nafshi


This song is taking script from Songs of Solomon loving psalms about Jerusalem: “By night on my bed I sought her whom my soul loveth; I sought her, but I found her not.” In the psalm, “her” refers to the bosom of the city of Jerusalem. All of David’s psalms are the most romantic poetry in Jewish liturgy. In our song, we aim our yearning for Jerusalem to an even more direct and sultry theme.

Yeemaleh HEMA

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Verse 1


You know I am a man of virtue
Believe me, I never lie
I’ll strive to make us great again
You can trust me, little Rabbi


Not phony, fake but frankly
I ask you see me eye to eye
Prostrate yourself and family
To your country, and to I


Chorus 1


Bow down, bow down

Bow down, bow down

Bow down, bow down

Bow down, bow down


Verse 2

Here, Like a cancer, I cradled you
Like a rumor, I helped you grow
Like a leech, I nourished you
Yet you stand, riot in tableau


Do you not see your fault?
Is this how I'm repaid?
How I try to save you from your sins
This is where I'm betrayed?

Chorus 2

Bow down, don’t you dare to rise
Made glorious, ratified


Xerxes, kingly bona fide
Not one soul more dignified

Verse 3 (Pre-Bridge)


You’re a fool
With narcissistic eyes
Reverence as your tool
Silence as your knife


A Tremendous loser
Just a Yuge Lie
I’ll build a Great Wall and from it
Hang you and your pride


Bridge


Yeemaleh Hema x 4


Chorus 3


Bow down, don’t you dare to rise
Made glorious, ratified
Xerxes, kingly bona fide
Not one soul more dignified
Burn, broadcast nationwide
Make technicolor genocide
Curl, my words around your throat
“The Final Solution”, to this turncoat

In this song, we hear the perspective of a certain villain in Judaic history, the first villain to call for a genocide of all the Jews. This was after a Jewish leader refused to bow down to him as Jews do not idolize any person or object other than their one G-d. The story speaks of the
villian, Haman, filling with rage “Yeemaleh Hema”. You find similar themes to many different tyrants in the lyrics. Including ones currently holding very powerful offices...

GO AWAY

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Verse 1


Go Away, Go Away
Cause I, feel you just don’t get it and my
Demons don’t quite know you yet,

but maybe if you hold my hand I’ll, no...


Go Away, Go Away
Won’t you, leave me and my voices with me,
You don’t hear what they’re saying to me,

how they comfort me....


Chorus


We’ll go far away
And we can go far away


Verse 2


Go Away, Go Away
That’s your, eyes and what they’re saying to me
“Lies and cheating all the people round me,”

is the stain you think I am and gonna...


Go Away, Go Away
If you, turn your head away from me then
I might disappear away and not just in your eyes


Chorus 2


We’ll go far away
I’ve waited too long today (I’ll just go away)

Verse 3


Go Away, Go Away
Cause I, feel you just don’t get it and my
Demons don’t quite know you yet,

but maybe if you hold my hand I’ll, no...


Go Away, Go Away
That’s your, eyes and what they’re saying to me
“Lies and cheating all the people round me,”

is the stain you think I am and gonna...


Chorus 3


So just go away, away...
Go away, away...

A new MK original “Go Away" about mental illness combined with a klezmer standard, Kandel’s Hora. It’s commenting on the mentally illness we all encounter, whether it’s "go away" to demons in our heads, "go away" to people trying to help us or from the other side: “normals” saying "go away" to the mentally ill that they can’t understand and don’t want to see. Or just wanting to "go away" from this world and end it.

Hail to the king

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Verse 1


Hanging by your feet,

the world’s end near complete
I know you fought so hard
You held your chin up high,

but your feet are pointing to the sky
Your eyes to the ground
You don’t quite understand,

gravity’s deathly hands
This world is upside down


Chorus 1


Hail, the King of the Weak
Hail, the Knight of the Meak


Verse 2


The sabers strike thousands fold,

yet their teeth are getting old
See they don’t cut so well
Your armor’s in some kind of spell,

you struck their words from what you could tell
(melodically)
it’s your blood on the floor
They call you all these crazy things,

a maniac, a violent being

This world’s a battleground


Chorus 2


Hail, the King of the Weak
Hail, the Knight of the Meak
(Hail to the king...)


*Instrumental Interlude*

Verse 3


You cried your love, you spoke your truth
You fought for what you thought you knew
But knowing’s not the game
And though you set the world ablaze
Not one person’s solved your maze
Now what are you fighting for
A kingdom that exists no more
Or if ever, whose to say?...


Bridge


Adio, adio querida
No, quero la vida
Me l’amargates tu.

Ladino Translation:


“Farewell, farewell beloved
I don’t want this life.
You have made it so bitter.”

It’s an homage to the misunderstood villain to stories. I feel like this song describes the moment after the villain realizes their demise. or on the verge of realizing....the bridge references a broken heart...so this could be a love story, but i also see it as another mental health dilemma.
The place where people pit themselves against the world for their self righteous circumstance that nobody can understand. makes them question what they’ve been fighting for, discovering self-awareness.....or not? maybe they blame the world to the very end....not sure where it’s going.


To those that stand for what they believe in, even if you can’t understand it.

MOTH

Original Lyrics & Music by Mostly Kosher
Yiddish Poem by Troim Katz Handler

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Like a moth to a butterfly
or Sampson to Delilah,
          like the poison we drink,
          That Shakespeare wine


Two wars as old as ancient times
yet the same food and wine
          taste of rice and saffron
          but if my blood is lifelong
      will I taste you tonight?


Mir farmakhn di oygn
Un vern tsuzamengetsoygen
Ikh tsu dir du tsu mir —
Un veysn nit vi.

Tears are carving lines
Down your face with thorns and sweet vines
         Drawing blood and nectar
         Of iris and pleasure
         From your lips tonight?


But the moth unveils the light
By the smell of burnt flesh (wings) and dark plight
         My hairs are shaven
         Your ambrosia drained
         Our eyes must open
         In sleep love remains...


Mir farmakhn di oygn
Un vern tsuzamen getsoygen
Ikh tsu dir du tsu mir —
I to you, you to me,​

The original poem:
“The Wax Moth,” compact and effective in Yiddish for its tightly knit rhymes, retains a simple beauty in its English translation, a long-distance love poem.

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Der zokher fun vaks-mol
Dershirt zayn nekeyves-reyekh
Durkh flaterl koyekh
Un flit mayln on tsol
Tsu zayn zi.

Mir farmakhn di oygn
Un vern tsuzamengetsoygen
Durkh loshn-drot-papir —
Ikh tsu dir du tsu mir —
Un veysn nit vi.

The wax moth male
Senses the odor of his female
Through his butterfly power
And flies countless miles
To his mate.

We close our eyes
And are drawn together
Through the language of wire, paper —
I to you, you to me,
And know not how

The Poet:
Troim Katz Handler is the author of Simkhe, Yiddish love-letter poems, and co-author of two books in Yiddish and Japanese, written with Prof. Kazuo Ueda for students of Yiddish in Japan. After a thirty-year career as a secondary-school English teacher, she taught Yiddish at summer programs in Oxford, England. Her poetry has been published in the Yiddish Forverts and periodicals. Her poem “Blume Lempel” appeared in Der Bay in December 1999. She and her husband, Frank, lecture widely on Yiddish literature and Jewish history.

YOU SLAY ME (I DIE)

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Verse 1


I would rather give to death

than to never have seen (loved) you
And now that I have seen you

I feel that I can...finally die


Chorus


You slay me, you slay me


Verse 2 (Yiddish)


"Besser hoben toit vie kein mohl nisht zen dir,

un yetz az ich hob dir gezen, ken ich shtarben"


Chorus


You slay me, you slay me


Pre-Bridge (Hebrew)


Ani ma-adif mavet ma-asher
lo lirot otaach, achshav,
acharei shera-iti otach
she-ani yechol lemoot

Chorus


You slay me, you slay me


Pre-Bridge (Hebrew)


Ani ma-adif mavet ma-asher
lo lirot otaach, achshav,
acharei shera-iti otach
she-ani yechol lemoot,

ani yechol lemoot


Bridge


...I die...

Mostly Kosher’s original lyrics and soothing sound speak to the experience of euphoria and fulfillment when heartstruck. As the song’s pulse becomes more agitated in intensity, so does the quickening of one’s heart in love. As it arrives to the peak of fulfillment, the whole world slows down and spins on a gentle wind, just as our bridge sounds.

The instrumentation is pared down to the bare bones of Mostly Kosher, 4 instruments, 4 players...to find the beauty and simplicity of the message we are portraying.

Yet, with the irony of death = love, we are also asking our audiences to think about more than “just another flower frolicking, love song”. Our unorthodox video patiently paints a scene of calm and love, all the while stumbling upon an unsuspecting experience with gun violence, only to be over in moments, reverting the viewer’s attention back to the beauty of our day to day environment. Finally zooming out to reveal the masses of the population continuing their day of smelling the flowers, despite in earshot of gunshot and murder. Death occurs in this country by the hundreds to gun violence, yet our world keeps turning, basking in the frolicking love songs of the radios.

A band famed for its caberet/vaudevill and disney-esque experiences, Mostly Kosher will spend these next few years crying out messages for change, experience and humanity. The first single of a long awaited second album due to release in 2020, this single spells out a darker landscape of social justice, love and consciousness.

 

It is a departure from Mostly Kosher’s beginnings and deep exploration of traditional Jewish klezmer and yiddish music. This is the introduction to the new chapter of Mostly Kosher’s artistic exploration.


Yet still represents the trifecta of our band, with american roots, hebrew language to reflect bandleader’s Israeli roots and yiddish to represent Janice’s and america’s deep connection to jewish roots. We started with the english poetry and then translated it into Yiddish and then Hebrew, creating a new/modern Judaic folk song.