Mark Varshavski [Mark Warshawsky] / Марк Маркович Варшавский / מאַרק וואַרשאַווסקי

Antiwar songs by Mark Varshavski [Mark Warshawsky] / Марк Маркович Варшавский / מאַרק וואַרשאַווסקי

Mark Markovich Warshavsky (Russian: Марк Маркович Варшавский, Yiddish: מאַרק וואַרשאַווסקי; born in Odessa 1848, died in Kiev, 1907) was a Yiddish-speaking folk poet and composer from the Russian Empire.

He graduated from the Law school of Kiev University and practiced law in Kiev. By the influence of Abraham Goldfaden Warshawsky started to write songs and sing them in his circle of friends accompanied by a fortepiano. He did not take seriously his musical work and never recorded those songs, relying on his memory. Many of his works in this way were spread throughout the Jewish community of the Ukrainian region of the Russian Empire and most of them were simply adopted as folk songs.

In 1890 Warshawsky met with Sholem Aleichem. After listening to his songs, Sholem Aleichem wrote "I simply hugged him and kissed him!" And then,

“ Villain! Why do not you print such songs? If I would not know that those are your own songs, I would swear that I heard them sometime performed by my mother! ”

Later, by Aleichem's full cooperation, Warshavsky published his first collection "Yiddishe Volkslider" ("Jewish People's songs". Kiev 1900) with a heartily foreword from the great classic. That book was republished not only in Russia, but abroad as well. The collection included such songs as "Der Alef-Beis", "A Brif fun Amerike", "Der Zeide mit der Babe". The songs described the everyday life of Jews in the Russian Empire.

Together Sholem Aleichem and Warshawsky started to tour around Russia performing their own repertoire. They also had plans to travel to the United States, however those plans were left unfulfilled as Warshawsky suddenly became ill and died on November 26. The second edition of the Warshawsky's songs was published in Odessa in 1914, with the following exclusively abroad: New York (1948) and Buenos-Aires (1958).

According to Prilutsky, Warshawsky spoke in the authentic dialect spoken in Volyn.

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