February 22, 2019

New children’s songs in an old language

Sarah Aroeste’s recently released album is exactly the kind of music parents of young children look for and toddlers love: catchy, easy-to-sing melodies, simple repetitive lyrics inspired by the child’s everyday world, and dollops of humor and surprise.

What sets this album apart is that the songs are in Ladino, the medieval Judeo-Spanish dialect Sephardic Jews took with them when they were expelled from Spain and Portugal more than 500 years ago. Ladino, like Yiddish, was used by a large swath of Jews until a few generations ago and is now disappearing.