Oy, Canada! Now in the original Yiddish…

Oy, Canada! Now in the original Yiddish…


norman lebrecht

June 11, 2017

You couldn’t make it up…


  • esfir ross says:

    Glad to hear sang in Yiddish that’s language of majority of Canada Jews.
    It was my first language and love to speak it.

  • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

    At least one country on this continent still understands the importance of being a melting pot.

    • Steve P says:

      may your pot be forever melted

    • David Cohen says:

      “melting pot”— in which we lose our distinctive flavours? Let’s be in a kaleidoscope in which we keep our colours and can lend to infinite patterns. Look at how many Yiddish words are commonly used by English-speakers. All the same, our gifts to the kaleidoscope are far more complex than language.

      A grandson suggests “Maybe a “crazy quilt?”

      Born in the U.S.A., I’m a Yiddish speaker with family connections in Canada where I learned to spell Canadian.

      • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

        “Melting pot,” because that is the term that traditionally, for many decades now, been used by Americans to describe their society. I’m told that Canadians use the term, “mosaic.”
        From “The West Wing”:

        “You know what word should be Yiddish, but isn’t? Spatula.”

  • Marcella says:

    Very nice thanks for sharing

  • Emil says:

    Fun fact, though: the French and English versions of O Canada don’t match up – the original French version (which is still in use) is much more openly Christian (for your arm carries the sword / it carries the cross […] and your values steeped in faith…), whereas the English later translation (used here) is much more neutral. Both are official versions, and the unofficial bilingual version often used keeps the reference to the sword and the cross.

  • Stanley Cohen says:

    When Prince Charles attended a Golden Jubilee thanksgiving service at St Johns Wood Synagogue in London in 1997, the entire event was broadcast by BBC Television who thoughtfully provided English subtitles for the choir’s rendition of the Hatikvah and Hebrew subtitles for their rendition of God Save the Queen.

  • Mikey says:

    Why is this something “you couldn’t make up”?
    Is there, in the writer’s opinion, something wrong with Canada’s multi-cultural society?

    That’s what Canada is like. We don’t elect Trumps, nor Mays, and we don’t start wars nor try to conquer the planet and set up continent-spanning empires.

    I sense a tinge of either haughty British pretense, or sub-surface jealousy brewing.
    Mr. Lebrecht’s blog has become less and less about music, and more his personal arena for bashing things he finds ridiculous.

    Well, news for you Norm: the only ridiculous one here is you.

    • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

      “Mr. Lebrecht’s blog has become… more his personal arena”

      …Which is exactly what a blog is.

      • Mikey says:

        nice use of selective quoting.
        now read the entire sentence I wrote, in context.
        the meaning is not the same.

        Mr. Lebrecht is supposed to be some music critic/author. His blog has a higher standard to live up to, one that he himself established years ago. This place was one of the important places on the internet to get information and news on the classical arts scene.

        However, over the last year, it has gone down in quality and up in snarky, self-congratulatory pretension, sneering at things left right and centre as though he were now appointed the high commissar of all that is correct and proper.

        I’d like Slippedisk to go back to what it was before: intelligent articles, some opinions without judgment, and music-related news.

        • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

          And he has the right to do so. It’s his blog; he has no obligation to you.

          • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:


            You’re on someone’s blog, which by definition is an outlet for that person’s personal opinions and what else he chooses to write…

            …And you say yourself that he’s a critic and author, which by definition is someone who writes what he feels like writing…

            …And you’re not paying anything for the privilege of reading what he has to say…

            …And you’re upset because he’s not writing about that which you want him to write? Wow.

    • MWnyc says:

      You all elected – twice – Stephen Harper, who was not as bad as Trump but worse than Theresa May.

  • Mervon Mehta says:

    Check out the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, just launched at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, at cbcmusic.ca/globalorchestra or
    http://bit.ly/2ruVbUV. 12 musicians from 12 countries but now living in Toronto writing and playing music that exemplifies the cultural mosaic (not melting pot) that we treasure.

  • NYYgirl says:

    Love the ‘spatula’ comment

    • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

      The credit belongs to Aaron Sorkin and the writing team on “The West Wing.”

      The next line was, “Also, ‘far-fetched.'”

  • Gerda H. Foti says:

    decades ago someone suggested/referred to a Canadian “tossed salad” as opposed to the American “melting pot” and the group I was in were, well, in agreement–has a nice ring, no ??? a bit “meshugge”, if you will