Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bridging the Generation Gap Using the Internet

The cliche "opposites attract" certainly applies in my marriage. I am rather shy, although I do warm up to people a lot faster than I used to.

Westbankpapa doesn't have a shy bone in his body (and one of the westbankkids takes after him in this respect). This manifests itself in many ways. One of them is my husband's total lack of inhibition when it comes to singing. Granted, he has a wonderful voice, and I take great pleasure in hearing him sing Shabbat zemirot (songs traditionally sung at the Sabbath meal between courses). I also think he has the best voice of all of the Torah readers in our synagogue. He loves to sing at home in the middle of some mundane activity.

There is only one problem. He sings lyrics from obscure and old songs. He is a native New Yorker, and I grew up in a "hick town" according to him (despite the fact that the hick town happens to be a city of more than 250,000 people, it doesn't compare to the Big Apple. Then again, I reinforced this stereotype one summer when I took him to the New York State Fair!). So his exposure to Jewish culture was a lot more extensive than mine, even though we both grew up in non-observant Jewish homes.

At the start of our marriage I would sometimes ask innocently, "what are you singing?" when he would belt out an old show tune or an Allan Sherman song like "My Zelda". He would give me this exasperated look and sometimes even ask, half-jokingly, "are you sure you are Jewish?" (New Yorkers are such snobs sometimes!)

Pretty soon I was up to speed. But now there is a second generation that sometimes asks, "Abba, what in the world are you singing?!?"

This is where the internet comes in. All westbankpapa has to do is search for a minute, and he comes up with an official website, or a complete set of lyrics, and sometimes even a YouTube rendition of one of his favorites.

Just this morning he found a YouTube take on Allan Sherman's "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda".



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Allan Sherman. We used to listen to My Son The Nut and My Son the Folk Singer when I was a kid.

8:33 PM, January 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband also loves to search the internet for lyrics. But just the other day I asked him about "My Zelda," and he had never heard of it. As for Allan Sherman, yes, we have the lyrics.

9:06 PM, January 14, 2007  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

I grew up hearing "hello mudda, hello fadeh" :)

12:04 AM, January 15, 2007  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Love Allan Sherman.

12:10 AM, January 15, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

BEST. SONG. EVER. (Hello Mudda, I mean.)

7:26 PM, January 15, 2007  
Blogger Batya said...

"and they say we'll have fun if it stops raining"

I love those songs.

10:15 PM, January 16, 2007  
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