WJMF Sound Byte: The Sisters of Sheynville


I’ve been following the cringe inducing news about the federal raid on a kosher meat processing plant in Postville, Iowa. The plant gained notoriety in 2001 thanks to Stephen Bloom’s excellent book Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America which profiled the conflict between the denizens of this small Iowa town and the ultra-orthodox owners and employees of the glatt kosher meat processing plant. The raid, which resulted in the arrest of nearly 400 alleged illegal workers comes hot on the heels of the revelation that an Orthodox Jewish couple that keeps kosher was the source of an early incriminating PETA video that showed inhumane practices in the slaughterhouse.

Sisters of SheynvilleIn short, it has been a bad run for Jews and cows. Which is why it was such a delight to discover this whimsical number by The Sisters of Sheynville who will be performing at the Washington Jewish Music Festival on June 8. The Sisters don’t just revive the swinging yiddish sounds of the Barry Sisters from the 1930s and 40s, but they also bring this style to other classics from that era including I’m An Old Cow Hand– reclaimed from Bing Crosby. Take a listen below, I particularly like the updated lyrics with their references to veganism and being “an old cow maydle, I can spin a dreydle.”

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, The Sisters of Sheynville are yet another rockin’ Canadian band in the Festival. Stay tuned, this will be a theme…

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