Learn about the new Special Collections Center
The Campaign for Penn's Libraries
Learn about the new Special Collections Center

The Robert and Molly Freedman Jewish Music Archive

Robert and Molly Freedman

Ven Di Tsadikim Kumen Un (When The Saints Go Marching In)

Performers: Maida Feingold & Ben Bonus, vocals; Malka Gottleib, piano; Yosl Mlotek, narrator
Freedman Catalog # F-28(a)

Audio Clips:

NOTE ON FILE SIZE AND FORMATS: The .aiff format can be read by most browsers and equipment configurations; some but not all of the newer browsers can read the Microsoft ADPCM format (.wav) presented here. These are large files and will take a long time (about 7 minutes per 1,000 KB) to download on a 28.8 Kbaud modem connection. We suggest that you test your browser with one of the smallest .wav format excerpts to preview the song and determine if your browser supports this compressed format before attempting to download any of the other sound files.

About the song:

The performance of this song was taken from a live radio broadcast of a revue sponsored by the Workman's Circle entitled Sholem Aleykhem Yidn on WEVD in New York in December 1974. This is an adaptation of the New Orleans-style dirge, "When the Saints Go Marching In" in which the word "saints" translates to the Yiddish "Tsadikim." Done in a lighter vein, the translation was written ("ibergezetst un farbesert") by a prominent Yiddish children's educator and child psychologist, Leybush Lehrer (1887-1965), who sometimes used a pseudonym, L. Magister.

About the performers:

Ben Bonus, together with his wife, the actress Mina Bern, were mainstays of the postwar Yiddish musical theater, producing revues such as Let's Sing Yiddish, Songs of Our People, and Sing, Israel, Sing. Their recordings were issued in the United States and Argentina, where they often performed.

Maida Feingold is a product of the American Yiddish school system, similar to the school which Bob and Molly Freedman attended as children. She began performing as a teenager. She can be heard on a recording entitled Maida Sings Folk issued in 1957 by Audio Fidelity, AFLP 2136 [Freedman Catalog M-01(A)]).