• The Hesh

Lyric of the Week: HEY FRUMIE

Updated: Feb 17

Hey Frumie

Love that three-quarter-length skirt

With those colored stockings

And that long sleeved shirt

Hey Frumie

You got me on my knees

But you won’t pay attention

Even if I say please

You never show yourself

You stay in after dark

There’s never anything

Down in Borough Park

Would you go out with me

I really doubt it

Bais Yaakov upbringing

Won’t allow it

Hey Frumie

You’re looking so fine

But when you see me coming

You just pretend you’re blind

You’re walking down the street

With hardly any skin showing

And when the boys dare to stare

You just keep going

Well I could nudge you

Till you become unstrung

And then I could say

Only the good die young

Will you swallow all the things

That you were taught in school

Or will you meet me

On Shabbos after shul?

Your mama never told you

What love is all about

But if you wanna know

Your time is running out

Don’t know the burden

You’ll have to carry

When your folks are gonna

Get you married

Hey Frumie

Is that the real you there

Or is that a sheitel

Instead of your real hair

But if you’re still single

Then I just can’t sit still

Hey there Frumie

Won’t you say you will

©2002 The Hesh Inc./Reality Shock Music

Dance up a storm, girls.

This is a song about a less-Orthodox boy falling hopelessly for a very Orthodox girl. It came about one Friday night in 1984 when I was hanging out with some very religious friends in a very religious neighborhood in Jerusalem. Boys and girls hung out with their respective single-gendered groups and looked each other up and down without looking at each other at all. The repressed sexuality in the air was so thick you could slice it.

A year or so later I started noodling with a reggae-like riff similar to the J. Geils Band's "Give It To Me," whose sentiment is quite similar to this song. And then I scribbled the first lyrics down in a notebook when I was headed down to the Negev with my army unit. One of my English-speaking army buddies asked me what I was writing, and I showed him; he said I was tiptoeing around the subject too much and that I should be a bit more in-her-face about it. So I reworked the lyrics until I got what you see and hear here. (Credit must be given to Moshe/Maurice Field of Toronto, Canada for the commentary, and for several lines in the second verse.)

The song became a mainstay of the setlist in the various bands I knocked around in in NYC and NJ in the mid-1990s. I remember when we played it at one gig at The Bitter End in which the band was billed at "The UnOrthodox" ... the second verse got a lot of laughs. Eventually my musical partner Izzy Kieffer and I recorded it for our REALITY SHOCK album in 2002.

Listen to it here:

And then buy the album:

#originallyrics #RealityShock #OrthodoxJews #relationships #sex #lust

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