Hannukah Spirit, part 4 Dec 20, 2016

Been awhile since I posted here, and unsurprisingly, it is yet another post about the song Mattathias!

(For context, see parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series.)

I got an email from a nice man named Norman, who was trying to remember the lyrics to Mattathias and ran across this blog. He pointed me at a listing from the library at the University of Pennsylvania, which contains an actual printed sheet music edition of the song, by none other than the aforementioned Harry Coopersmith. According to the catalog entry, Coopersmith was born in Russia in 1902, and emigrated to the United States at the age of nine.

I did a little looking around of my own, and found some more bits of information. Here's a somewhat more in-depth biography of Coopersmith from Transcontinental Music Publications - he evidently had quite a distinguished and prolific career as an educator and an editor of Jewish music collections.

Additionally, Google Books has scanned one of his compilations - The New Jewish Songbook - and it has a version of Mattathias! Here it is:

This does seem to clear up the "flowing sea" vs. "flaming sea" vs. "flaming, see" debate from part 2. Sara, you were right! :-D

Even better: you can buy that book on Amazon! (I just ordered it.)

Happy Chanukah, everyone!