Friday, 25 May 2018

YISROEL SKUDER


YISROEL SKUDER
            He was born in Skud (Skuodas), Lithuania, and worked as a cantor.  He composed songs which were sung in Lithuania but never published.  Only two poems—“Shir vos er hot gezogt koydem yom hamise mit ruder yisroelke skuder” (A poem he enunciated for the first time on the day of his death with Ruder Yisroelke from Skuodas) and “Shiker-lidl” (Drinking ditty)—were published by Daniel Perski in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (New York) 17.2 (1946), pp. 402-4.  In the first poem (forty-four lines, excluding the refrain), there is a sense of remorse running through it for why he never in his life attached any important to good deeds and will have nothing to take with him into the next world.  Most of the lines have an immediate folk quality, with associated, individually tragic senses of his premature, coming death.  The second poem is a cheerful-sad song to a glass of wine, for which he would run “even into a dark mine.”  There were two different tunes for the first poem, and for the second poem one.  The musical notation may be found in Yivo-bleter, in an article by Khane Gordon: 18.2 (1946), pp. 411-12.  Further biographical information remains unknown.

Sources: D. Perski, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 27.2 (1946), pp. 304-9; Khane Gordon, in Yivo-bleter 28.2 (1946), pp. 411-13.
Leyb Vaserman


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