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A Yiddishe Mame Collection

“My Yiddishe Momme” is a song written by Jack Yellen (words and music) and Lew Pollack (music), first recorded by Willie Howard, and was made famous in Vaudeville by Belle Baker and by Sophie Tucker, and later by the Barry Sisters. Sophie Tucker began singing “My Yiddishe Momme” in 1925, after the death of her own mother. She later dedicated her autobiography Some of These Days to Yellen, “A grand song writer, and a grander friend”. Sophie Tucker made ‘Mama’ a top 5 U.S. hit in 1928, English on one side and Yiddish on the B-side. Leo Fuld combined both in one track and made it a hit in the rest of the world.”

The song, in English and Yiddish, sadder in the original Yiddish than in the English translation, the mother implicitly symbolizes a sense of nostalgia for the “old world”, as well as guilt for having left it behind in assimilating into American society.

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