Past Events

Past EventsSunday, February 28

A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs

David Lehmann
Naomi Gryn

Author of A Fine Romance, cultural critic David Lehman, joined us at JBW 2010. He delved into the American songbook—the compendium of music written from the 1920s to the 1960s that includes Broadway hits, Hollywood musicals and Tin Pan Alley tunes -largely written by Jews.

Revealing the less than subtle Jewish subtext in shows such as Guys and Dolls, the cantorial melodies underpinning Gershwin’s tunes and even the removal of religion in songs such as White Christmas and Easter Parade.

Told with clips from classic films David Lehman will share the stories behind these songs and unveil ‘a saga of love, longing, assimilation, and transformation.’

David Lehman is an acclaimed poet, anthologist, cultural critic and the editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry; and the author of seven books of poems, most recently When a Woman Loves a Man. He lives in New York City.

Naomi Gryn is a writer and filmmaker. She is currently editing a volume of her late father's, Hugo Gryn, radio scripts. 

Experience the event as it happened:

Video Audio

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