Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random Thoughts.....

Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that in some very popular Jewish songs that tug at our heartstrings and uplift us, there are some MAJOR plausibility questions that through their tears & cheers most people don't seem to notice???

If you are unfamiliar with these songs, please listen to them before reading my commentary.
The first one is Lev Tahor's Deaf Man in the Shteible.



The second one is Journeys The Ninth Man. (I apologize that I was unable to find a good video of this one without extra stuff.... skip to 2:08 on the video where the song begins. It ends and around 6:08)



OK.... are we done?
Were they moving? Inspiring? Touching?
Good.

Let's start with The Deaf Man in the Shteible -
Did it bother ANYBODY else that nobody in the whole shteible, (including the rabbi!?!) had the slightest CLUE that the father of their chazzan WHO DAVENED WITH THEM EVERY SHABBOS was niftar??!?! Didn't anybody go to the levayo???? Yikes.....

Let's move on to The Ninth Man -
Wow! What a Rebbe, right? He sure saves the day, doesn't he? So here's my question. As everybody else is cheering on the rebbe as the team completes the game, WHO THE HECK IS TAKING THE KID WITH THE BROKEN LEG TO THE HOSPITAL?!??!

Details, details.... the songs were good, right?

18 comments:

Something Different said...

Lol, good points, you remind me of my friend, she always thinks of these things...

Btw, the deaf man in the shteibel is a takeoff of a non-Jewish song, the blind man in the bleachers. That's what bothers me much more than anything else. I hate getting all inspired or moved by a song and then finding out that it's really a non-Jewish song...

Staying Afloat said...

Me too, me too! I've always wondered why the rav doesn't clock the deaf man's son, because an avel doesn't usually daven on yamim noraim. And in the ninth man, the Bensonhearst kids would all be jumping and shouting about an adult playing.

But still great songs, and I can't forget how I felt when I heard that last line of "Deaf Man" for the first time.

SD, I get bothered by a lot of songs like that. I was once at a BAis Yaakov play and I could not believe the song they had used as the basis for their songs! They took me to a place I really didn't want to be.

Staying Afloat said...

P.S. Deaf man in the shteeble is originally a Country Yossi song.

ProfK said...

Something Different,
Maybe yes or maybe no that the deaf man is a takeoff on the blind man in the bleachers song. I predate that blind man song and as a youngster I was told a story about a "toiben mispalel"--a deaf man praying whose son was zocheh to have a magnificent voice, whose tefillos wandered the heavens until his father was taken to shomayim and could hear them. "Ain chodesh mitachas hashomayim."

G6,
I've stopped wondering if you and I have some strange connection that neither of us knows about. You post this video today and I post a link today to an article on "Shul Shame," how people can daven together for years and not know each other's names or important details. You discuss muerbe teig and so do I.

Honestly Frum said...

I always had that question about the deaf man, since I heard it 20 years ago on a country yossi album.

G6 said...

ProfK -

I too, have often wondered if we are secretly related.

Based on our posts AND opinions, we are, at the very least "soul sisters" ;)

I enjoyed your post very much today, by the way.....

FBB said...

Agree about the first song, "Deaf Man in the Shteibel," but not with those posters who have issues that it was once an English song. I think that God is everywhere in the world, and if we can garner inspiration or chizuk from songs that are not original in content, but hold a universal truth, then I see no harm.

As for the Ninth Man? It's truer then you think!! When my dear hubs was in 12th grade he broke his ankle sliding into third (really!!!). He had to wait 45 minutes for them to finish the game before anyone would take him to the hospital. Partially because as a sports guy he didn't want them to stop for him, and ruin the game, so when they wanted to finish the game he said fine.

(He was safe at third, BTW)

harry-er than them all said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o97ww2dZ9sU
(the blind man in the bleachers)

G6 said...

OMG!!!!!
I'm SO TOTALLY disillusioned!!!
It's the same dang TUNE even!!!!!
(and **this** one makes more sense...)
There IS NO tooth fairy.... only plagiarists :( :(

mo said...

first of all i have to agree with FBB, if it can be uplifting in any way, go for it. it's not like Lipa singing oy oy oy to a Jay-Z tune.
i actually googled it and it totally blew me away,listening to the original version kinda kills any rip-off, although i still like the shteeble version.

I recall bringing up the question about the injured player in the succah 1 or 2 succoses ago, as a joke. but seriously do you really want them to incorporate it in to the lyrics

.....la la la we called hatzala...la la.. it was only a minor fracture....la la la...he got a big cast on it.. la la la...

you get my drift? it intended to be a song about the rebbi relating to the kids etc...

regarding the DEAF man's unfortunate death, the rabbi probably didn't HEAR about it ;-) (JK)

Staying Afloat said...

I don't have a problem with borrowing from the secular world. My problem with songs is that I often know the original and can hear it playing in my head as the Jewish one goes on. One of the songs in the Bais Yaakov play I watched was to "Master of the House" from Les Mis. If you know that song, you can't hear it and think of anything else, so it messed up the mood big time.

Likewise, while I still love the Beach Boys take-off Dror Yikrah, my fairly modern mother can't stand it because she doesn't like hearing Sloop John-B at her Shabbos table.

G6 said...

Mo -

" .....la la la we called hatzala...la la.. it was only a minor fracture....la la la...he got a big cast on it.. la la la..."

That's hysterical!

Something Different said...

Yep, G6, that was my reaction the first time I heard it.

And for all those who commented about my comment on Jewish songs taken from non-Jewish songs, I guess I don't mind it so much normally, but this one bothered me. I mean, think about Lipa Shmeltzer and the outrage over him singing a lion king song. People were totally outraged about it. Here, they totally got away with it.... Plus, it bothers me that it's such an "inspiring" song, when the original is totally not inspiring. Although, I have to say that once I heard this and started wondering how people found the take-off so inspiring, I realizedthat they don't. The song gave me the chills the first time I heard it, but didn't inspire me to be better....

Anonymous said...

why are you bashing my two favorties songs??????????

Shosh said...

haha I've always wondered that about the 9th man! its the same way with some of the jewish kids books...you know the yossi and laibel one where they make peanut butter and jelly for shabbos? What was the grandfather DOING the whole time? was he watching them? sigh. i love jewish music and books. theyre so entertaining.

observer said...

Shosh, grandpa probably WAS watching the kids try to make Shabbos - notice that they don't do anything remotely dangerous (and shabbos does get made by Bubby.)

The ninth man song never bothered me- sure if that happened in real life I'd be hitting the roof, but this is not about the details of reality, but the "inner reality" of the way kids see adults and how adults relate to kids. I would say that the kids who did the video got that, too, judging by the way they played it.

On the other hand, while the deaf man does give chills, it DOES bother me. I just don't get the point it's trying to make while I agree about the utter strangeness of no one - especially the Rav who should have been the one to arrange the Levaya - knowing about the situation. I've heard the story Profk mentions, but there are other ways to do that as a song...

frumpunk said...

I also didnt know that Deaf Man was a ripoff. These things really bother me. It ruined my childhood a little the first time I heard a song on the radio that I only knew from an Uncle Moishy tape of my youth.

Anony Mous said...

First off, all of Country Yossi songs are parodies of non-jewish songs. Why does "Deaf Man" shock you?
Second, who said his father had a levaya? His dad just died the night before. His dad might have been out of town or the son might have been unable to bury his dad.
Third, the question of how he could pray for the congregation when on the high holidays is not as good as you might think. There's a famous "rabbi story" of an ovel who was allowed to daven for so his mom would feel better after losing her husband. From what I can recall and I might be incorrect about this, an ovel leading the congregation is not desired on the high holidays but may still do so. Seeing as they needed him to lead the prayers, it seems like that situation warranted it.
Four, I was always more bothered by how the catcher broke his leg sliding into third but was the next batter up. The way I see it there must have been a rundown play in which the catcher somehow had to race the runner back and ended up sliding into third to make the put-out. I don't know why it would be described as sliding into third instead of sliding into the runner, but maybe it's a simple case of synecdoche.
I'm sure among the crowd there was some Hatzola member who carefully treated the catcher and took him to hospital