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Oh, lovely parrot - Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala

Judith Cohen reports to the Jewish-Music list a while back:

hi, I've just received "Oh, lovely parrot" - "Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala (Cochin)." I've been waiting for ages, since Barbara Johnson told me it was in the works at the JMRC (Jewish Music Research Institute at Hebrew U, Anthology of Traditional Music or whatever they call that series, #18). These are an interesting combination of her old field work recordings, and some re-recorded by younger women living in Israel who learned these old versions and perform them in the cases where the quality of the original tape defied repair technology.

It's in a book-cd form, with lots of good notes—and translations, but no original texts in Malayalam: these apparently will be forthcoming in the Yuval Music Series volumes, and are also in a volume published by the Ben Zvi Institute. Enjoy! Judith

For further information about the CD, or for purchase, check out the institute's website, www.jewish-music.huji.ac.il

Simon, from Hatikvah Music, adds this:

Once again, our friends at the Jewish Music Research Center at Hebrew University of Jerusalem have come up with another brilliant musical example of the rich and often overlooked traditions of Jewish music throughout the world.

Consisting of 43 songs from various holidays and ceremonies this deluxe set includes a 126 page HARDCOVER book in Hebrew and English with brief history of the Kerala Jews as well as translations of all the songs. A more detailed description of this set is located at the bottom of this message following ordering information

To view this CD got to this page on our we site: www.hatikvahmusic.com

We are offering this deluxe package at the special price of $18.98 -- INCLUDES First Class Shipping in the US -- through the month of March with all Visa & Mastercard orders.

Thank You
Hatikvah Music
323) 655-7083

"Oh What A Lovey Parrot!"
Edited from the accompanying book: For centuries, Cochin Jewish women have been singing Jewish songs in the Malayalam language of Kerala, their ancient homeland on the tropical southwest coast of India. A few are typical Kerala “parrot songs” addressed to lovely colorful birds like those portrayed in the Ketubba, pictured on the cover of this CD. Many of the songs are biblical narratives spiced with midrash. some songs are devotional hymns, and some are blessings for particular occasions, and a small group are 20th century Zionist songs in Malayalam, preparing the Cochin Jews for aliyah, immigration to Israel. While Kerala Jewish women and men shared and sang together a unique repertoire of Hebrew piyyutim, it was the women alone who performed Malayalam-language Jewish songs, performed without instrumental accompaniment. While in many traditional Jewish communities women have not been allowed to sing where a man might hear their voices, this was not so in Kerala Jewish life. Women sang at parties in the presence of men, and though Malayalam songs were not ordinarily sung in the synagogue, women did join men there with full voice in singing Hebrew prayers and songs. Half the songs are from field recordings made between 1972 and 1981, when there were still older Kochini women in Israel and India who actively remembered the songs. The rest are recent recordings (2001 - 2002) recorded at the National Sound Archives in Jerusalem by members of a new Kochini women's group in Israel. This 43 song CD is contained in a beautiful deluxe hardcover 126 page booklet -- 90 in English and 30 in Hebrew explaining the songs. All songs are translated in English.

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