“To Me, You Are Beautiful”: A Jewcentric Note
Published on: August 27, 2012
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  • WigWag

    “My Jewcentric point? Only that that a song of this nature, with such a history and so much emotional baggage, could in 2011 become a giant European (and especially a German) pop hit, sung by an Azerbaijani woman and decorated by truly wild (and completely un-Jewish: one backdrop behind Ilhama looks like St. Peter’s, in the Vatican!) visual images is, well, sort of breathtaking. It almost makes me dizzy just thinking about it.” (Adam Garfinkle)

    And then there’s “White Christmas” written by the Jewish songwriter, Irving Berlin (Berlin’s real name was Israel Isadore Baline). In fact several famous Christmas Carols were written by Jews including: “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” (Johnny Marks), “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” (written by Jules Styne) and Silver Bells written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (real names, Jacob Harold Levinson and Raymond Bernard Evans).

    “Godspell” the big musical Broadway hit from the 1970s based on the Gospel of Matthew also had a Jewish lyricist and composer, Stephen Schwartz.

    Perhaps Adam Garfinkle can weigh in on whether he thinks it’s taking Jewcentricity to the extreme if we take credit for the incomparable singer that he mentioned in a post at Via Meadia the other day, Patsy Cline.

    As Adam suggested, Cline’s version of the Willie Nelson song “Crazy” is sublime. See for yourself,

    Could Cline be Jewish? I say, why not? After all, Klein means “small” in both German and Yiddish. “Cline” seems pretty close to “Klein” to me.

    Has there ever been a better country artist than that wonderful Jewish singer, Patsy Cline?

    I don’t think so.

    • Adam Garfinkle

      Yes, it is too much, way too extreme. Cline was Patsy’s married name. She was not remotely, possibly, theoretically or otherwise Jewish. She learned to sing in church.

      You might want to review the JAC chapter in the book (JAC=Jewish American Chauvinists). It is not entirely harmless for Jews to make such silly claims, even just for the sake of seemingly innocent fun. Some non-Jews are very sensitive to such matters and there’s nothing to be gained from gratuitously annoying them. You will thus recall, perhaps, that one line in the “Al-Hayt” confessional on Yom Kippur concerns “tifshoot peh”, “frivolous speech.” Word to the wise; it is Elul, and judgment day approaches.

      • WigWag

        “You might want to review the JAC chapter in the book (JAC=Jewish American Chauvinists). It is not entirely harmless for Jews to make such silly claims, even just for the sake of seemingly innocent fun. Some non-Jews are very sensitive to such matters and there’s nothing to be gained from gratuitously annoying them…” (Adam Garfinkle)

        I guess you’re right; history has taught us that its not entirely harmless for Jews to annoy their non-Jewish neighbors. The more those neighbors are apt to be irritated by a harmless joke, the riskier it is to aggravate them. As Lord Byron said, “A drop of ink and a million think.”

        And speaking of Lord Byron, I hope it doesn’t make me a JAC to point out that his uncle, Lord George Gordon, was a convert to Judaism. Byron was a close collaborator of another English Jew, Isaac Nathan. Byron’s famous “Hebrew Melodies” published in 1815 were set to music by Nathan and became quite popular. They are well worth a listen and they can be found here,

        http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/douglass/music/album-hebrew.html

        In terms of the incomparable Patsy Cline, I don’t have a clue what religion her first husband was; he could have been Scottish for all I know.

        By the way, his first name was Gerald.

  • John Barker

    You can score another sale. I got “Jewcentricity” on Kindle in which it will live forever in cyberspace in infinite editions. I know writers get no revenue from used books;I hope you get a percentage of e-book revenue. Thanks for TAI. I hope the MSM are perplexed and worried about you success.

  • Stephanie

    Would you happen to know the year that this truly lovely song was banned by the Goebbles machine? I ask because of the book I am writing, wondering if it might make it into a Munich nightclub circa 1941?

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