Gebirtig, Mordechai

Born Krakow, Poland, 1877. Died, 1942. Yiddish folk song poet. He was a poor carpenter who was self-taught in music and composed songs completely by ear, remembering them all in his head. Because he was illiterate in music, friends notated his songs. Despite the handicaps, Gebirtig’s (also spelled Gebertig) songs grew wildly popular and were picked up, even in the United States, to become part of folk, popular theater and sheet music repertoire. Several books of his music were published during his lifetime including Mayne Lider. Mordechai Gebirtig: His Poetic and Musical Legacy Edited by Gertrude Schneider is a book published in 2000 of his music, reviewed at this site.
An opera has been written by Joel Hoffman about his life.CCM Opera Recalls The Holocaust. A listing of compositions held at the Jewish Library in London is foundhere.