PRATIE PLACE

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some chicken, some neck: Arthur Szyk caricature (found)

An older lady in my Yiddish book club passed along to me four boxes of her father's music. This was no ordinary collection of piano sheet music - he was a composer and orchestra leader in Russia and the boxes are full of his hand-written manuscript arrangements of everything from Glinka to "Khasene in dem yidishn geto" by David Beigelman. And on the back of a picture of an English setter, this:


Of course my son got out his smart phone and asked it about Arthur Szyk. He found the Arthur Szyk website and ordered Szyk's illuminated haggadah...

Then we wondered what "Some Necks" meant. A Facebook friend enlightened me: it's from a famous speech by Winston Churchill to the Canadian Parliament December 31, 1941.
"But [the French] generals misled [the French nation]. When I warned them that Britain would fight on alone whatever they did, their generals told their Prime Minister and his divided Cabinet, 'In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.' Some chicken; some neck."
Interesting find in a dusty box.

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