Song

Avreml the Pickpocket

Original Title: Avreml der marvikher

Performer: Daniel Kempin
Lyricist: Mordecai Gebirtig
Composer: Mordecai Gebirtig

Mordecai Gebirtig, born in 1877 in Krakow, Poland, was a Yiddish folk poet and songwriter.

Gebirtig had three daughters, for whom he wrote and performed his poems. The words were set to improvised melodies, and most of his songs resemble entries in a diary. Many of Gebirtig's poems contain themes of eastern European Jewish life in the 1920s and 1930s. The lyrics to "Avreml the Pickpocket" address two social issues, crime and the collapse of family life, arguing that both find their roots in poverty and need.

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