Beats from bubbe

Yiddish classic gets electronic redo in retro video

The Vibers, two Tel Aviv actresses, revamped ‘Bei Mir Bistu Shein,’ sung to them by their beloved grandmothers

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

VIBERS Ft. Michael Moshonov - Bei Mir Bistu Shein (prod. by Yishay Raziel)

We're bringing Yiddish back!VIBERS, nice to meet. credits:Written and composed by Jacob Jacobs and Sholom SecundaProduced by Yishay Raziel Vocals by Michal Shmoopi Karmi Yael TalRap by Michael MoshonovViolin and Clarinet by Yonatan MillerDirected and Edited by Vadim Mechona Cinematography by Ruslan PaulCamera Assistant : Yishai Beit HalachmiVFX: Eran MuskatelStyling by :VibersStylist Assistant: Lee Wolf Hair & Makeup by Michal LesmanMakeup assistant: Tal leviChoreography by Katia RosenfeldActors: Dor Kahn @Shoham Shiener, Elad Atrakchi, Adam Hirsch, Daniella Shatan Dubinsky Collectors Vehicle by Ronny ShatanOutfits & Accessories By: GUILLAIN.CO, Rayo Swimwear Studio DEBO @Raquel Gonzales shop, ellesse IsraelSpecial Thanks to: country club dekel Tel Aviv - ofer nisan קאנטרי דקל - העמוד הרשמי. מועדון ספורט, שחייה וכושר בשיכון בבליAdi Tal and Tammi KarmiEhud Tal, Michal Shumla, Noa Tzur Rosenberg Ido Ofek, Sharon taicher, Maya Zana Jeff Wilbusch, @Shay Yechiel GoldbergThis clip is dedicated with love and longing to our Grandmothers

Posted by Vibers on Wednesday, October 7, 2020

“Bei Mir Bistu Shein,” the popular Yiddish love song, is having a renaissance moment.

In September, singer Yael Yekel, otherwise known as Tehila the Kosher Diva, reprised the beloved Yiddish standard with some Middle Eastern flare.

Now the Vibers, two out-of-work actresses, Michal Karmi and Yael Tal, are giving the 90-year-old song their own twist, with a combo rap-boogie-woogie video set against the lush greens of a Tel Aviv country club.

For Karmi and Tal, and Yekel as well, their familiarity with the song comes from deep bonds with their grandparents, immigrants to Israel from Poland, Belarus and Lithuania who spoke in Yiddish when they didn’t want the children to understand what they were saying.

Tal remembers her grandmother singing “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” to her as a kind of lullaby.

“We were thinking about why the music that we grew up with got left behind,” said Tal. “We decided that the audience out there has to get to know our music.”

The two women first thought of the video idea before the arrival of the coronavirus. But after being out of work all spring, they took advantage of the summer lull to film the video, inspired by Israeli band A-Wa, the sister trio who create lighthearted rap-funk covers of their grandmother’s Yemenite folk songs.

“We wanted to bring it into the language of today,” said Tal.

Horseradish and crackers, matzo balls and compote, it’s all here in the Vibers’ first video, a cover of Yiddish hit ‘Bei Mir Bistu Shein’ (Courtesy Vibers)

With the help of some friends in the fashion business, they suited up with outfits echoing the looks of the 1930s and 1940s, and scouted out as their location Country Dekel, a local swim club that Tal remembered from her own childhood.

They’ve got the huge sunglasses, retro swimsuits, deep pink nail polish and lipstick, all the more exaggerated when taking sips of fruit compote and snacking on chrein, Yiddish for horseradish, dabbed on crackers and matzah balls.

Their double act is pretty much the same as their real-life dynamic. “That’s us, in essence,” said Tal. “We didn’t have to do much to augment that.”

The original song with lyrics by Jacob Jacobs and music by Sholom Secunda was written for a 1932 Yiddish musical and was meant as a duet between two lovers.

The hit was sung by African American performers at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and was rewritten in English and then performed by The Andrews Sisters, who turned it into a major hit.

The Vibers version of “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” features the soulful tunes of klezmer, heightened by electronic beats, and was produced by Yishai Raziel, who knew exactly how to bring the song into this century, said Tal.

Rapper and actor Michael Moshonov also adds some rap verses, and acts as one of the guys the ladies feast their eyes on in the video.

The response has been amazing so far, said Tal, with the video making its way around the world.

“It seems that Yiddish is loved,” she said, “in Mexico and Sweden, really, everywhere.”

The two are halishing (Yiddish for yearning) to do more, having whetted their appetites on those matzo balls and vintage swimsuits.

“Who knows?” said Tal, who is slated to start filming on the second season of “Shababnikim” as soon as Israel’s latest closure eases up. “One thing we have right now is time.”

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