My Yiddisha Momme

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composition date
Jack Yellen
Lew Pollack
related performer(s)
Sophie Tucker

This, or nothing at all

On an impulse, I called up Sophie Tucker at the Claridge Hotel in New York. She bawled me out for spoiling her sleeping pill, but she listened, and when I finished singing, she was weeping. Between gulps, she asked me to send her a copy. She wrote me that her agents and friends suggested the title be changed to ‘Jewish’ or ‘Hebrew Mama,’ being afraid of the word, ‘Yiddish.’ I told her that if she sang it, it would be ‘Yiddisha Momme’ or nothing at all; and what is more, I insisted that she sing the chorus in Yiddish, the way I had written it.

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