Monday, July 13, 2009

The Circumcision Drinking Song

The "On The Main Line" blog just posted a rather singular song called called The Newly-Dubb'd Jew in a 1790's book called Hilaria. The song is a funny and racy redo of the older English folk tune, "Derry Down," chronicling a conversation between a prospective convert and his soon-to-be-clipped penis. The song includes lots of political references of events of the day and is generally more amused by the process than abusive of Jews, which makes it good fun to read today. I'd love to hear someone try to sing it. Send me a video and I'll happily post it on Teruah. Any takers? To get the melody, listen to this recording of American folk musician Pete Seeger singing a very different Derry Down lyric.

The book, attributed to a "Captain Charles Morris and William Hewerdine" is dedicated to drinking and drinking songs, opening with this comment (I've corrected the spelling to modern standards) ...

"....the gentlemen of Britain, whose fondness for pure, unadulterated, wine, cannot be doubted, will continue the old custom of drinking a bumper of wine with the first toast after dinner to the first thing that was ever was created for the enjoyment of their sex.

Solomon..., says "give flow strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts." "Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more."

With that thought in's "The Newly Dubbed Jew"

Hat tip to the "On the Main Line" blog for posting the song and to my buddy Daniel for emailing me about it.

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