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Who’s Yehudi? June 19, 2011

Posted by The Prodigal Son in Uncategorized.
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From Wikipedia:

The catchphrase “Who’s Yehoodi?” (or, alternatively, “Who’s Yehudi?”) originated when violinist Yehudi Menuhin was a guest on the popular radio program of Bob Hope, where sidekick Jerry Colonna, apparently finding the name itself humorous, repeatedly asked “Who’s Yehudi?”

Colonna continued the gag on later shows even though Menuhin himself was not a guest, turning “Yehudi” into a widely understood late 1930s slang reference for a mysteriously absent person. 

The United States Navy chose the name “Project Yehudi” for an early 1940s precursor to stealth technology.

"I'm Yehudi!"

A song with the title and catchphrase “Who’s Yehoodi?” was written in 1940 by Bill Seckler and Matt Dennis. It was covered by Kay Kyser and more famously by Cab Calloway. The final stanza of the song is:

The little man who wasn’t there
Said he heard him on the air
No one seems to know from where
But who’s Yehoodi?

Both the catchphrase and the song eventually lost all of their original connection with Menuhin. Its double meaning of “Who Is Jewish?” — the word “Yehudi” means “Jew” in the Hebrew language — was emphasized in a short sound film (“soundie”) of the song with variant lyrics made in 1943 with singer Lane Truesdale and the Kingsmen, a male trio, in which a “living portrait” of a pejoratively stereotypical Jew with black hat and long beard leers inappropriately at Truesdale’s swinging hips before finally announcing “I’m Yehoodi!”

The national swing dance/lindy hop community website Yehoodi derives its name from this catchphrase, as popularized by the Cab Calloway version of the song.

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Sneaky they are…

They only list the very last part of the lyrics of the song in Calloway’s version… and they make it sound like the song had nothing to do with Jews until Lane Truesdale and the Kingsmen modified it for use in their soundie (shown below in the comments).

But the complete original lyrics went like this:

There’s a man on every tongue                                                                                                                                              Grandpa, Grandma and the young                                                                                                                                                What the fuss is all about                                                                                                                                                 They’re just trying to find out:

Who’s Yehoodi?                                                                                                                                                     Who’s                                                                                                                                   Yehoodi?                                                                                                                                      Someone please lend me a hand
Solve this mystery if you can
Is he mice or is he man?
Who’s Yehoodi?

Who’s Yehoodi?                                                                                                                                                     Who’s                                                                                                                                           Yehoodi?

One dark night ’bout half past three                                                                                                                                                   Saw an owl up in the tree                                                                                                                                                                He looked down and he yelled at me:                                                                                                                                                        Who’s Yehoodi?

G-man Hoover’s getting moody
Got his men on double-duty
Trying to find out who’s Yehoodi
Who’s Yehoodi?!

Who’s Yehoodi?                                                                                                                                                     Who’s Yehoodi?

The little man who wasn’t there
Said he heard him on the air
No one seems to know from where …
Who’s Yehoodi?


So what’s this about Hoover?

Digging around a little… I found this:

Cab Calloway’s “Who’s Yehoodi?” (written by Bill Seckler and Matt Dennis) hit the charts in 1940, an especially antisemitic era in America as well as in Europe.

“G-man Hoover” refers to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who, in the early 1920s, jailed and deported political radicals, including many Jews. Perhaps the song predicts that the FBI will ferret out, like Hitler, exactly who’s “Yehoodi” and who isn’t.

The “Yehoodi” of the song is omnipresent on the airwaves, yet he finally escapes detection. Is the song antisemitic, pro-Semitic, or something more mixed?

(Above from: HERE)

First – 1940s America was “especially antisemitic”? Really?

Wasn’t it Americans (and Canadians) who saved the Jews in WWII? Isn’t that the narrative?

Next – the reference to Hoover with his men trying to figure out who was a Jew and who wasn’t (demonstrating the link between Communism and the Jews) in the original shows that this song was (at least partially) about Jews from the get-go.

The part with the portrait of a Jew on the wall checking out Lane Truesdale’s arse shaking is only an aside to the original meaning of the song. All of this is not even mentioned (and seems almost to have been obscured) by Wikipedia.

"The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists." - J. Edgar Hoover

About J. Edgar Hoover… I found the following on the website of ‘The National Committee to Reopen the Rosenberg Case’:

The 1951 trial in New York City of an all-Jewish cast of defendants for espionage and treason was born out of the same malignant prejudice that marked the Moscow and Berlin trials. It was not until the 1980’s, three decades after the trial and execution of the Rosenbergs, that the Department of Justice began a series of more than a dozen trials for espionage and treason in which, for the first time in American history, non-Jews were tried for spying for the Soviet Union. All were found guilty. None were sentenced to death.

How had the 1941 all-Jewish trial in New York City come about? The answer lies in the outlook of J. Edgar Hoover, our key law enforcement officer as Director of the FBI for half a century, and a practicing anti-Semite until his death in 1972. During his lifetime, FBI Director Hoover did not submit the name of so much as one triable non-Jewish Soviet espionage suspect to the Department of Justice (although one of the non-Jewish spies discovered after Hoover’s death was himself an FBI agent).

When Hoover began his career in federal law enforcement, he was already in the grip of anti-Semitic beliefs. Among his first acts as a law enforcement official was to send away for 12 copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, for himself and for circulation among his colleagues.2 The Protocols had by that time become the “bible” of international anti-Semitism, and remains so to this day.

Hoover’s antisemitism determined the hiring policy he created for the FBI. One of his closest advisors for 30 years once pleaded with him to relax his anti-Jewish hiring policy, writing him, “In over 8000 agents, how many are Jewish? Very few.”

In a book he published in 1956, Hoover devoted a whole chapter to what he believed was the Jews’ attraction to Communism, and he warned that they were failing to rid themselves of what he called ‘Communists.’ Hoover did not address any other group in the nation with such warnings.

Hoover also considered criticisms of his leadership of the FBI to have Jewish origins. When a Justice official tried to assert the Department’s authority over the FBI, Hoover referred to his critic as a “Lebanese Jew”.

Hoover’s outlook was shared by many of his colleagues. In December 1951, 9 months after the trial, federal law enforcement officials told the media that spies would rarely be found among persons of “pure Anglo-Saxon stock.”

The presence of Jewish prosecutors and a Jewish judge in the case appears to have been an attempt by the Department of Justice to mask the underlying antisemitism. But Justice officials took no chances: in New York City, with Jews constituting 30 percent of the population, not one Jewish person was seated on the jury.

Ethel & Julius Rosenberg were American Communists who were convicted and executed in 1953 for conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war. The charges related to their passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.

So it’s obvious that to this day they still don’t like J. Edgar Hoover… and even Walt Disney is smeared for his relationship with Hoover:

“Far from being the world’s favorite uncle, Disney was a vicious anti-Semite and hater of communists, who for twenty-five years was a Hollywood spy for J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.”
—”The Mouse That Bores,” A User’s Guide to the Millennium, J.G. Ballard, 1996.

Makes me wonder just how many ‘Communists’ he arrested/deported over the years. Must’ve been a fair number. Jailing and deporting Jews because they were Communists… Isn’t that what Hitler did?

Too bad there wasn’t a modern-day Hoover interested in Who’s Yehudi.

This poster contains the phrase in Hebrew "Proleṭarier fun ale lender, fareyniḳṭ aykh!" - "Proletariat of all lands, unite!"and large lettering with the words "Arbeṭ un ḳulṭur"(Labor and culture) across an illustration of a hammer and sickle topped by a red star."

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1. The Prodigal Son - June 19, 2011

The Prodigal Son - June 19, 2011

Cab Calloway’s Original:

2. Marcus - June 20, 2011

Jailing and deporting Jews because they were Communists… Isn’t that what Hitler did?”

Ah Godwin’s law in full effect and even before any one has posted a comment.

‘Isn’t that what Hitler did?’

I could think for periods spanning eras of time equal to geological ages and still not hit upon the right words to truly convey the piquancy, the sheer relish, the delight that this phrase evokes in my inner being.

It is Zen like in its apparent idiocy as it challenges us to step outside ‘logic’ and such tired constraints as limit our thoughts and to consider the utter absurdity of humanity as a whole.

3. Mike - June 20, 2011

I am glad to see you have taken the time to grace us with your presence again. I figured you would be writing up something for an ADL of B’nai B’rith forum or something for the World (‘Order’) Council of Churches.

4. Mike - June 21, 2011

I believe, IMHO, that he (Marcus) is under the impression– in typical, modern-day “PC” fashion (whether liberal or neo-con)– that we are not only both ‘idiots’ (even though the foolishness of God is still light years from the wisdom of men) but also ‘poor misguided hateful’ folks that need to be shown ‘the errors of our ways’. If he were alive at the time of St. John Chrysostom, for instance, I am sure he’d be chastising him as well for ‘picking on’ those ‘poor oppressed deicidal Jews’.

But, just like Ss. Chrysostom– and Gregory, Basil the Great, the Blessed Augustine, Polycarp, etc– we must stick to the Truth of the Word and the Holy Tradition and not really care what men think, even if they identify themselves as ‘Orthodox’ or what have you. Marcus is the result of centuries of ‘Filioque’ fall-out that inevitably led to Rationalism and Humanism being introduced into the Church.

The Prodigal Son - June 21, 2011

Yes, it’s amusing to me when people get all self-righteous and condescending while seemingly having no idea what they’re talking about.

I think if you’re going to slanderously label someone’s assertions as “idiocy” – you should be prepared to back it up…

(Where you at Marcus?

Aren’t you going to take us to school here?)

He says what’s popular to say… and says nothing that isn’t popular. He’s a willing subject to the prevailing ‘group-think’ line. It’s a bullshit, feel-good, ass-kissing club that you and I will never be a part of.

We have received the love of the truth… which we hold above the approval of this world. The world loves Marcus and his ilk because they are subject to it…

    “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
    – John 15:18

The question is this:

What is more important – being sensitive to someone’s potential hurt ‘feelings’… or telling the truth?

No brainer.

If you really love someone – you will endeavor to tell them the truth. Truth is Love.

Conversely, ‘political correctness’ at the expense of the truth is actually hate.

    “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
    – I John 3:18


5. Marcus - June 25, 2011

Hey hup. No comments allowed on the latesty entry on this blog I note. Or if I’m wrong and missing the tab for it let me know. Let’s just say if there are not I’m not surprised….

6. Mike - June 25, 2011

The Noahides are looking for more recruits. Have you looked into them yet? :)

The Prodigal Son - June 25, 2011

What’s “hup”?

The comments are wide open as always.

A couple of people have addressed you and you’ve ignored them… You’ve ignored me as well.

That’s not very polite Marcus. Have you come only to talk at us?

When you’re addressed Marcus, please respond OK?


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