Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Revisiting Some Of The 100 Best Jewish Songs Ever - Second Hand Rose

Last week we wrote about Tablet Magazine's listing of the 100 Best Jewish Songs Ever.  It's quite a list, and we've been reviewing it -- to savor some of the original performances, and to see if we could gain some more insights into the wonderful world of Jewish music and to share some details about the truly funny songs on the list.

When we got to entry number 92, we stopped short.  That selection, Second Hand Rose, was a song we always assumed was written for Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl, the story of legendary Jewish comedienne Fanny Brice.  Jody Rosen writes in her description of the song:
Funny Girl Fanny Brice brought down the house at the 1921 Ziegfeld Follies with this tale of a Lower East Side pawnshop owner’s daughter, sung in thick mock-Yiddish dialect.
So we did some Googling, and found that the song was indeed written for Fanny Brice and that she performed it in the 1921 Ziegfeld Follies.  We also found the original lyrics, which include a section not performed by Streisand, and an audio clip of Brice singing the original song.

Here is a clip of Fanny Brice singing the complete song, Barbra Streisand singing her version, and the complete lyrics.  Enjoy!


Father has a biz'ness, strictly second hand
Ev'rything from toothpicks to a baby grand
Stuff in our apartment came from father's store
Even things (clothes in the Streisand version) I'm wearing someone wore before
It's no wonder that I feel abused
I never get a thing that ain't been used

I'm wearing second hand hats, second hand clothes
That's why they call me second hand Rose
Even our piano in the parlor, Papa bought for ten cents on the dollar
Second hand pearls, I'm wearing second hand curls
I never get a single thing that's new
Even Jakie Cohen, (Jake the plumber in the Streisand version) he's the man I adore
He had the nerve to tell me he's been married before
Ev'ryone knows that I'm just second hand Rose
From Second Avenue

I'm wearing second hand shoes, second hand hose
All the girls hand me their second hand beaus
Even my pajamas when I don them, have somebody else's 'nitials on them
Second hand rings, I'm sick of second hand things
I never get what other girlies do
Once while strolling through the Ritz a woman got my goat
She nudged her friend and said, "Oh look, there goes my lamb skin coat."
Ev'ryone knows that I'm just second hand Rose
From Second Avenue
From Second Avenue

1 comment: