15. Let’s Tell A Story (Medley)

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Let’s Tell A Story (Medley)
Sari Max

2:00 min

15. Let’s Tell A Story (Medley) (4:11)

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Let’s Tell a Story

(Jewish Medley of Let’s Tell a Story, Building Bridges, and Latkes!)

Music and lyrics by Sari Max

(superb assistance with revision of some lyrics by Jeanette Brod Lazer)

 

Let’s tell a story then let’s tell another

We’ll tell about families, our Bubbes and brothers

We’ll tell of times so long ago

In shtetls where life was simple and slow

Then we’ll tell about our blessings so prayerful

We’ll tell about life built on faith at the shul

We’ll tell about old family news

We’ll tell about our people, The Jews!

 

Living Mitzvot – soul by soul - simplicity

Living Mitzvot – thought by thought  - ingenuity

Living Mitzvot – child by child – continuity

Living Mitzvot  - prayer by prayer – integrity

 

Celebration, love overflows

Holiday tables, candles aglow

Renew commitment - strong roots make us grow

Never forgetting, tales told long ago!

 

Shared Traditions – hand in hand – one family

Shared Traditions – life to life – community

Shared Traditions - heart to heart – vitality

Shared Traditions – glass to glass – festivity

 

Spoken: Here’s a holiday story about Chanukah Latkes!

 

You must start with potatoes

Add onion and salt, just a pinch

Pour oil in the frying pan

Inch by inch by inch

 

Spoken: It’s all about the oil. In the days of the Maccabees, the oil lasted for 8 nights!

 

My Bubbe took her old wooden chopping bowl

And chopped the potatoes by hand

She learned latke cooking in a far away land

Now for latkes here in America

We turn on the “whirly zippy buzz-buzz” thing

And, presto-change-o!

We have latkes – so delicious

They make our eyes dance and

Our whole mouths sing:

 

Latkes! La-la-la-la-la-la-la Latkes!

Crispy hot and yummy

As they hop from mouth to tummy

They’re latkes! La-la-la-la-la-la Latkes!

 

Shaped like a cloud, shaped like a splat

Shaped like a yarmulke but not like a hat

A little like flapjacks, a little like buns

A little like croquettes but you can’t eat just one!

 

Spoken: With applesauce or sour cream

Take a bite and then you’ll scream:

More Latkes!

 

Let’s tell a story then let’s tell another

We’ll tell about our people, The Jews!

Track 15

LET’S TELL A STORY (Medley)

 

This medley is comprised of sections from three different songs. Each one was written for a different event. I wrote the song, Let’s Tell A Story, while working as artist-in-residence at a synagogue for a program called “Explorations”. The congregation was exploring Jewish Stories and my job was to mount them in various ways for performance (i.e. mime, chant, song, etc.). I was asked to perform with them and created a character, “The Bubbe” who brought everyone together for Havdalah after which we were to “tell” each other stories. Then, the performances began. The entire experience with the kids and adults was a blast. I cherish the book they made for me after the final performances took place. We learned a lot from one another!

The second part of the medley was a song originally entitled “Building Bridges”. After the first Federation and synagogue (in the country) to be under one roof was conceived, there was a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off its construction (what turned out to be a 24,000 square foot facility). For this ceremony I wrote the song that I sang and played on keyboard. I had a terrific young man on guitar, Jason Zwang, for accompaniment, along with Leah Cooper featured on background vocals and the children from the Hebrew School singing too.

As the song “Building Bridges” was site and event specific in its chorus, my dear friend and Hebrew Educator (among many of her skills, talents and credentials), Jeanette Brod Lazer, sat with me before I recorded the medley and helped me with continuity in the process of rewrite. She made an invaluable contribution.

Last, there is a coalition in Washington, Connecticut that hired me to perform at a Chanukah celebration. For this occasion, I wrote the “Latkes” song.  Combining the three songs and ending with a reprise of “Let’s Tell A Story” was a joyful process made even more so by our energetic and soulful recording session. The great clarinetist (and tenor saxophonist from Tracks 8 and 14), Mark Fineberg, put some serious Klesmer moves on the largely improvised part he played on this Medley. It was the only time I danced in the studio! It was impossible NOT to move while he infused the band with his expert muscular playing. His spontaneity and sense of humor were displayed when, immediately after I sang the lyric: “now, for latkes here in America…” he played the first six notes of the Star Spangled Banner! Jeff Harris wasn’t as versed in the Jewish repertoire as the rest of the group however, he rose to the occasion and conducted and played a great performance.

 I had a ball performing this material. I felt like I once again became  “Bubbe” for a little while.